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GMCC Recognizes James Beard Nominee, Chef Reneé Touponce with Oyster Club and The Port of Call in the ‘Community Proud' Series

GMCC Recognizes James Beard Nominee, Chef Reneé Touponce with Oyster Club and The Port of Call in the ‘Community Proud' Series

The Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce proudly honors James Beard Nominee, Executive Chef Ren Touponce with Oyster Club and The Port of Call, in the latest installment of the ‘Community Proud’ series, sponsored by CorePlus Credit Union. Renee has been named a finalist for Outstanding Chef in the 2024 James Beard Awards. The recognition highlights Touponce’s exceptional culinary talents and her imaginative dishes that blend flavors from around the world while showcasing local New England ingredients.  

"There’s a lot of heart and soul that goes into what we do as chefs. Each day, my kitchen team and I strive to create good food that connects with people. Getting recognized for that work is one of the greatest honors we can receive. Working in an industry with so many talented individuals, to be nominated for a James Beard Award, especially in this category, is incredible, and I’m grateful for our community and the talented team I get to work with every day" said Touponce. 

With a passionate focus on local ingredients and a serious position on equality in the kitchen, Reneé Touponce, Chef/Owner of Oyster Club and The Port of Call, continues to raise the culinary bar in Mystic, CT and throughout New England. Reneé’s multicultural background influences both her cuisine and view of the world. Her upbringing is a blend of Italian and Puerto Rican, with memories of rice and beans on the stove, a lasagna in the oven, and food bringing her family together. Her inventive, locally-sourced, sustainable cuisine, pays homage to the rich, coastal heritage of New England, investigating the ingredients of her region of Mystic and surrounding communities while recreating the flavors of her youth. Reneé is the first to say that “there's no gender in food,” but admits to a time when that wasn’t the case. As a queer woman, she believes that things are changing for the better, with the industry becoming more aware and educated. Her kitchens are healthy, equal and safe, where no one has to feel out of place, while also cooking some of the most innovative and thoughtful food in New England. Reneé is a 2024 James Beard Award Finalist for Outstanding Chef, a 2023 James Beard Award finalist for Best Chef Northeast, and was named Chef of the Year at the Connecticut Restaurant Association’s 2022 Crazies Awards.

Join us as we celebrate Chef Renee’s contributions to the Mystic community and in wishing her luck on her James Beard nomination.

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