Foodie Events / Restaurants

James Beard Award Finalists Revealed — And a Number of Texas Chefs Stand Out in the Food Oscars

See Which Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin Chefs Have Advanced to the Final Round

BY // 03.16.22

When the finalists for the 2022 James Beard Awards were revealed, Texas restaurants and chefs were well represented among contenders for the nation’s highest culinary honors, considered the equivalent of the Oscars of the food world. Finalists were culled from the semifinalists, which were announced in February.

In addition to the six national finalists from across the Lone Star State, five chefs are in the running for the Best Chef Texas, a separate category for the state first established in 2019. They are Tiffany Derry of Roots Southern Table in Farmers Branch, Christine Ha and Tony Nguyen of Xin Chào in Houston, Quy Hoang of Blood Bros. BBQ in Bellaire, Steve McHugh of Cured in San Antonio, and Iliana de la Vega of El Naranjo in Austin.

Applause, applause for Chris Williams, chef and owner of Houston Museum District staple Lucille’s restaurant of Lucille’s Hospitality Group, who was named one of six finalists for Outstanding Restaurateur.

James Beard
Top Chef alum and Beaumont-native chef Tiffany Derry’s Roots Southern Table in Farmers Branch is a finalist for the James Beard Best New Restaurant Award. (Courtesy photo)

Likewise for Derry and her restaurant in Farmers Branch, which opened in June of 2021. Derry has been named among the finalists for the national James Beard Best New Restaurant Award. None of the other nine semifinalists from the Dallas-Fort Worth area earned a spot on the list of finalists.

Edgar Rico of Nixta Taqueria in Austin was a finalist among six contenders for the Emerging Chef Award, given to a chef who displays exceptional talent, character and leadership ability, and who is likely to make a significant impact in years to come.

Finalists from Houston include Ruben Ortega of  Xochi restaurant for Outstanding Pastry Chef, Hugo’s for Outstanding Hospitality and Julep for Outstanding Bar Program. 

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The finalists were revealed Wednesday morning in ceremonies at Casa Paloma at El Chorro in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Winners will be revealed and honored at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony on June 13 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

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