Among the 10 restaurants you’ll discover in the Restaurants of the Year is Junebaby from Edouardo Jordan, a Florida-raised chef with Georgian roots, who was troubled by the lack of Black representation in the Southern food movement. His Seattle hit is as delicious an experience as it is an eye-opening one. Here, versions of poverty foods like chitlins and hog maw live alongside the more ubiquitous biscuits and pimento cheese, honoring the fraught history of Southern cuisine. At Reem’s in Oakland, California, I was moved by Reem Assil, a Syrian and Palestinian chef who uses food to cultivate understanding for the Arab experience in America. In Austin was another interpretation of first-gen life, from Texas-raised Japanese chefs Tatsu Aikawa and Takuya Matsumoto. At their izakaya Kemuri Tatsu-ya, they explore the role of smoke in both of the cultures that shaped them, conjuring an imaginary world where Tokyo cowboys slurp ramen noodles after quick-draw duels.