Tom Cunanan





Washington, D.C.

Tom Cunanan gained experience in kitchens across D.C., including Patrick Orange, La Chaumiere. Rodney Scruggs, occidental. Jose Andres, oyamel. And Ashook Bajaj restaurants. When Cunanan's mother was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, he worked with her to write down her recipes for Filipino cuisine, forming the basis for a catering business.

Bad Saint was recognized by Bon Appétit magazine as one of the best new restaurants in the country in 2016. Pete Wells of The New York Times gave the restaurant a three-star review, writing that ""the food that Tom Cunanan and his cooks prepare under columns of wok smoke is richly compelling no matter how many prior run-ins you’ve had with Filipino food."" Eater named it one of the 38 essential restaurants in America in 2017.

After being a finalist in 2017 and 2018, Cunanan won the 2019 James Beard Award for Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic. 

In June 2020, Cunanan decided to pursue his dream of becoming a restaurant owner and opened PogiBoy, with Chef Paolo Dungca, in downtown Washington, D.C. Along with his new vision of Filipino comfort fast casual food, Cunanan will also be opening a fine dining restaurant, Hermie’s, honoring his mother, the muse behind his culinary career. 

Awards & Accolades

  • 2019 JBF mid Atlantic award (3x nominee)
  • 2016  BA best new restaurant bad saint 
  • 2019 esquire most important restaurant of the decade
  • 2019 food and wine best restaurant of the decade 
  • 2019 star chefs
  • 2016-2019Eater local and national 38 essential restaurant
  • 2017-2019 Michelin Bibb gourmand