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Lone Star Feast! Multiple Texans Are 2023 James Beard Awards Semifinalists

On Wednesday, the James Beard Foundation revealed the semifinalist nominees for the 2023 James Beard Awards, and 44 Texas restaurant industry professionals and eateries made the list of the best in the nation.

The James Beard Foundation Awards are annual awards presented by the James Beard Foundation to recognize chefs, restaurateurs, authors, and journalists in the United States. 

In recent years multiple changes have been made to the awards process. The voting body has expanded beyond the traditional food media. And a stated goal following the 2021 audit of the award was to have at least 50 percent of committee members and judges be people of color for the 2023 awards. 

Categories now also include a regional ‘best chef’ award for winners from California, Texas, and New York in hopes of recognizing a broader geographic range of winners. 

Finalists will be announced on Wednesday, March 29, and the winner’s gala will be Monday, June 5 in Chicago, to honor the anniversary of James Beard’s birthday, each year.

Here is the full list of the 44 Texans nominated semifinalists below:

Outstanding Restaurateur (1)

  • Chris Williams, Lucille’s Hospitality Group, Houston, TX

Outstanding Chef (2)

  • Junior Borges, Meridian, Dallas, TX
  • Christine Ha and Tony J. Nguyen, Xin Chào, Houston, TX

Emerging Chef (1)

  • Victoria Elizondo, Cochinita & Co., Houston, TX 

Best New Restaurant (1)

  • Tatemó, Houston, TX 

Outstanding Hospitality (1)

  • Theodore Rex, Houston, TX 

Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program (1)

  • Nancy’s Hustle, Houston, TX

Outstanding Restaurant (17)

  • La Condesa, Austin, TX
  • Lucia, Dallas, TX
  • Victoria Elizondo, Cochinita & Co., Houston, TX
  • Jennifer Hwa Dobbertin, Best Quality Daughter, San Antonio, TX
  • Don Artemio, Fort Worth, TX
  • Restaurant Beatrice, Dallas, TX
  • Tatemó, Houston, TX
  • Tatsu, Dallas, TX
  • La Casita Bakeshop, Richardson, TX
  • Kuluntu Bakery, Dallas, TX
  • Mariela Camacho, Comadre Panadería, Austin, TX
  • Anne Ng, Bakery Lorraine, San Antonio, TX
  • The Local, Abilene, TX
  • Theodore Rex, Houston, TX
  • Suerte, Austin, TX
  • Las Ramblas, Brownsville, TX
  • Weathered Souls Brewing Company, San Antonio, TX

Regional Best Chefs – Texas (20)

  • Nicola Blaque, The Jerk Shack, San Antonio, TX
  • Tavel Bristol-Joseph, Canje, Austin, TX
  • Damien Brockway, Distant Relatives, Austin, TX
  • Reyna Duong, Sandwich Hag, Dallas, TX
  • Kareem El-Ghayesh, KG BBQ, Austin, TX
  • Jalen Heard, Lane Milne, and Jonny White, Goldee’s Barbecue, Fort Worth, TX
  • Andrew Ho, Andrew Samia, and Sean Wen, Curry Boys BBQ, San Antonio, TX
  • Greg Gatlin, Gatlin’s BBQ, Houston, TX
  • Benchawan Jabthong Painter, Street to Kitchen, Houston, TX
  • Ai Le, Nam Giao, Houston, TX
  • Olivia López and Jonathan Percival, Molino Olōyō, Dallas, TX
  • Enrique Lozano, El Charlatan, Socorro, TX
  • Emiliano Marentes, ELEMI, El Paso, TX
  • Ana Liz Pulido, Ana Liz Taqueria, Mission, TX
  • Anastacia Quiñones-Pittman, José, Dallas, TX
  • Regino Rojas, Revolver Taco Lounge, Dallas, TX
  • John Russ, Clementine, San Antonio, TX
  • Ernest Servantes and David Kirkland, Burnt Bean Co., Seguin, TX
  • Kiran Verma, Kiran’s, Houston, TX
  • Jon Walter, Chez Sami, Wolfforth, TX

James A. Beard, born May 5, 1903, known as the “Dean of American Cookery,” was an American chef, cookbook author, teacher, and television personality. He helped to pioneer television cooking shows, taught at The James Beard Cooking School in New York City and Seaside, Oregon, and lectured frequently across the nation. 

He championed American cooking, prepared with fresh, wholesome, American ingredients, to a country just becoming aware of its culinary heritage. Beard taught and mentored generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts, which are now often referred to as “foodies.” 

Julia Child, famed American cooking teacher, author, and television personality, summed up Beard’s personal life: “Beard was the quintessential American cook. Well-educated and well-traveled during his eighty-two years, he was familiar with many cuisines but he remained fundamentally American…An endearing and always lively teacher, he loved people, loved his work, loved gossip, loved to eat, loved a good time.”

Dave Manning
Dave Manning
Dave Manning is a content creation professional with a background in multiple forms of media and communications. As a former university publications editor, staff, and freelance writer, he has created content for newspapers, magazines, and online media sites. He has also created content, both written and digital, for small businesses, global corporations, and nonprofit organizations. Aside from being a regular contributor to RA News, he is currently working on a novel for digital publication.


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