Culinary Awards

Meet the Dallas semifinalists for the Oscars of the restaurant industry

Meet the Dallas semifinalists for the Oscars of the restaurant biz

Chef Omar Flores of Driftwood restaurant in Dallas
Omar Flores was nominated for Best Chef Southwest. Photo courtesy of Driftwood
Dallas Master Sommelier James Tidwell
James Tidwell is a repeat nominee. Photo courtesy of James Tidwell
Stephan Pyles, San Salvaje
San Salvaje was nominated for Best New Restaurant. Photo by Teresa Gubbins
John Tesar, Burgers & Burgundy
John Tesar was nominated for Best Chef Southwest. Photo by Shana Anderson
Matt McCallister
Matt McCallister was nominated for Best Chef Southwest. Chefs for Farmers/Facebook
Chef Omar Flores of Driftwood restaurant in Dallas
Dallas Master Sommelier James Tidwell
Stephan Pyles, San Salvaje
John Tesar, Burgers & Burgundy
Matt McCallister

The New York-based James Beard Foundation has announced the semifinalists for the 2015 James Beard Awards for restaurants and chefs, with six food and beverage professionals from Dallas making the list.

Stephan Pyles was nominated for Outstanding Chef. And San Salvaje, his Latin restaurant, was nominated for Best New Restaurant.

Four Dallas chefs were nominated for Best Chef Southwest: Omar Flores (Casa Rubia), Matt McCallister (FT33), John Tesar (Knife) and David Uygur (Lucia).

James Tidwell from the Four Seasons in Las Colinas was nominated for Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional; he's also a repeat nominee.

Most of these Dallas nominees appeared on the 2014 list, including McCallister, Tesar and Uygur. Nominations are made by a Texas committee that includes critics such as D Magazine's Nancy Nichols and Texas Monthly's Pat Sharpe. Dallas chefs have frequently made it to the semifinalist stage but rarely to the finalist round.

Six chefs from Austin made the list, including Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue for Best Chef Southwest, really? And four chefs from Houston were nominated, including repeat Justin Yu (Oxheart), who was a Rising Star nominee in 2013.

These semifinalist nominees will be narrowed down to a shorter list of finalists next month. James Beard is a nonprofit organization named in honor of culinarian James Beard.