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Legendary D.C. Restaurateur Receiving Top James Beard Award Honors

Nora Pouillon was the first American chef to open a fully organic restaurant

Restaurant Nora
Restaurant Nora/Facebook

The James Beard Foundation is awarding a huge honor to a D.C. restaurant pioneer. Chef Nora Pouillon is receiving the Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Pouillon, a native of of Vienna, Austria, immigrated to the United States in the late 1960s. In 1979, Pouillon opened Restaurant Nora on Florida Ave. in Dupont Circle, in the site of a former grocery store (which, of course, was fitting.) And while Restaurant Nora was upping its organic quotient throughout the 1990’s, it was in 1999 that the restaurant became completely certified organic. This made Restaurant Nora the first certified organic restaurant in the United States.

Pouillon is credited with helping get the farm-to-table movement in the D.C. area really started — and is also a mastermind behind FRESHFARM Markets. The chef is also an author, having penned the 2015 memoir My Organic Life: How a Pioneering Chef Helped Shape the Way We Eat Today as well as a cookbook: Cooking with Nora.

The James Beard Foundation Awards are being held in Chicago on May 1st.