Feb. 28, 2019 By Nathaly Pesantez
Flushing’s acclaimed Dumpling Galaxy is in the spotlight once more, as its chef and owner has been named among this year’s semifinalists for the coveted James Beard Awards, one of the culinary world’s highest honors.
Helen You, who opened the popular 42-35 Main St. restaurant in 2014, is among 20 nominees in the “Best Chef: New York City” awards category.
This is the second time You, a native of Tianjin in China who immigrated to the United States in the 1990s, is nominated under the category, having appeared on the list just last year.
Dumpling Galaxy is known for its extensive menu of about 100 dumpling varieties. Signatures dumplings include the shrimp, scallop and crab meat; pork and chives; lamb with green squash and duck meat with mushroom.
The restaurant also serves an array of soups along with seafood, poultry, beef and lamb dishes.
Dumpling Galaxy was also among several Michelin guide’s Bib Gourmand picks for 2019, awarded to restaurants that offer high quality foods at affordable prices.
You got her start in the food industry after setting up Tian Jin Dumpling House in 2007. The stall is located at the Golden Hall food court on Main Street, and is the site “where Helen perfected her dumpling recipes and gained a cult following within the Flushing community,” according to Dumpling Galaxy’s website.
The chef and restaurant owner is also planning on opening a Dumpling Galaxy food stall inside Super HK Supermarket soon.
Among other area restaurants represented in the awards this year is Xi’an Famous Foods, which started as a small stall in the Golden Shopping Mall more than a decade ago and has since expanded to Manhattan and beyond, including a larger Flushing site.
Jason Wang, the chain’s CEO, is nominated for Outstanding Restaurateur.
“I am honored to be included as a Best Restaurateur semifinalist,” Wang said by way of his restaurant’s Instagram page. He added: “I’m grateful to be recognized for operations of XFF, and most important, due to my top notch team at Xian Foods and family.”
The awards, known as the “Oscars” of the food world, are in its 29th year, and is set up by the James Beard Foundation. The awards recognize culinary achievement across several categories including dining destinations by region, outstanding bakers and rising star chefs.
The final award nominees will be announced in Houston on March 27, with the awards gala to take place on May 6 in Chicago.