SÃO PAULO, Brazil, Oct. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Janaina Rueda, chef-owner of A Casa do Porco and O Bar da Dona Onça in São Paulo, Brazil, is named the winner of the American Express Icon Award 2020 – Latin America. The recognition, presented by Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants, reflects her commitment to the community, from campaigning for healthy school meals and inclusive gastronomy to mobilizing industry leaders around Covid-19 relief efforts and helping vulnerable communities during the pandemic. Rueda will be honored at the virtual unveiling of the list of Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, on 3rd December.
"It is very rewarding and exciting to be recognized with an award like this," says Rueda. "My hope is that this space will help to raise awareness about important issues, such as the debate on diversity and the search for an increasingly inclusive and democratic gastronomy. It is our role, as food agents, to support the most vulnerable, especially in this pandemic moment. The time for change is now!"
When Rueda and her husband Jefferson closed their restaurants due to Covid-19, Rueda united nearly 1,000 chefs and hospitality workers from Brazil to demand financial relief from the government. Additionally, she turned her casual restaurant, O Bar da Dona Onça, into a distribution center taking donations and delivering essential items to the most vulnerable communities in São Paulo.
The American Express Icon Award 2020 is the first of a series of special awards announced before the list of Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants 2020. The awards aim to support the sector during these challenging times for the restaurant community.
To spotlight the region's broad and diverse gastronomic scene and support its recovery, on 24th November Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants will also present El Espíritu de América Latina, a collection of casual restaurants that have had a positive impact on their communities and which represent the spirit of Latin American cuisine.
The American Express Icon Award is voted for by more than 250 restaurant industry experts and well-travelled gourmets from across the region, who make up Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Academy.
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SOURCE Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants