The winners will receive their awards May 6 in Chicago.
Although no chef from C&I hometown Dallas made the short list, four Texas chefs —with three of them from Austin — made the short list for Best Chef: Southwest. They are Bryce Gilmore of Barley Swine in Austin, Kevin Fink of Emmer & Rye in Austin, Michael Fojtasek of Olamie in Austin, and Steven McHugh of Cured in San Antonio. The fifth finalist is Charleen Badman of FnB in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Reached by phone this morning, McHugh, who has been nominated several times, says of the announcement: “It feels great. I’m super happy for my team.”
Other chefs, restaurants, and finalists nominated across the West include for Best Chef: Northwest Peter Cho of Han Oak, Katy Millard of Coquine, and Justin Woodward of Castagna, all in Portland, Oregon. Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi of Joule and Brady Williams of Canlis, all in Seattle round out the list.
Best Chef: West, which covers the states of California, Hawaii, and Nevada, shortlisted only California chefs. They include Jeremy Fox of Rustic Canyon in Santa Monica and Jessica Koslow of Sqirl in Los Angeles.
Two of the six chefs up for the Rising Star Chef Award call the West home: Alexander Hong of Sorrel in San Francisco and Jonathan Yao of Kato in Los Angeles.
Read the full list of finalists up for this year’s James Beard Awards online and stay tuned for the winners to be announced May 6 in Chicago.
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Photography: James Beard Foundation