10 Dallas-Fort Worth chefs and restaurants earn nods from James Beard
After a two-year hiatus, the James Beard Awards have returned, with a list of semifinalists for its 2022 Restaurant and Chef awards.
Presented by the James Beard Foundation, the awards recognize outstanding chefs and other culinary professionals in a range of categories ranging from Outstanding Chef to Best New Restaurant and a range of media categories.
This year will be the first time the foundation gives an award for Best Chef: Texas, a category it created after the 2019 awards to recognize the state's diverse collection of talent.
Dallas-Fort Worth garnered the following nominations, a total of 10:
- Best New Restaurant: Roots Southern Table
- Outstanding Baker: Maricsa Trejo, La Casita Bakeshop
- Outstanding Hospitality: José
- Outstanding Wine Program: Sachet
- Outstanding Bar Program: Las Almas Rotas
Five chefs were nominated for "Best Chef Texas," as follows:
- Matt McCallister, Homewood
- Misti Norris, Petra & the Beast
- Anastacia Quiñones-Pittman, José
- Regino Rojas, Revolver Taco Lounge
- Koji Yoshida, Ebesu Robata & Sushi
Houston earned the most with 12 nominations, including five for restaurants and seven for best chef. San Antonio earned four for restaurants and four chef nominations. Austin trailed with four nods, two in "Emerging Chef," and two Best Chef: Texas nominees.
Five Texas barbecue pitmasters were nominated, reflecting the foundation's goal to broaden the types of chefs and restaurants that it considers for its awards. After the foundation canceled its 2020 awards, the New York Timesreported that none of 2020's Black nominees won their categories. The organization also faced criticism that it nominated people accused of unethical behavior.
Nominees must now provide an alignment statement that demonstrates their support for at least one of the foundation’s stated values of equity, transparency, respect, integrity, community, and passion. In addition, the foundation changed eligibility requirements for voting. Whether these changes are enough to satisfy critics remains to be seen.
These are only semifinalists. A list of finalists will be announced on March 16. Media award finalists will be revealed on April 27. Winners will be awarded in Chicago on June 13.