Foodie Events / Restaurants

James Beard Award Semifinalists Reveal is a Major Texas Restaurant Win — Pier 6 and Roots Southern Table Rise Above the Crowd

All the Chefs, Restaurants and Bars That Earned Nods in the Lone Star State

BY // 02.23.22

After a nearly two year hiatus, the James Beard Foundation is bringing the coveted James Beard Awards program back — with the first step the reveal of the semifinalists on Wednesday. The finalists will be revealed on March 16 and winners will be recognized at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on June 13.

The Best New Restaurant Award has 30 semifinalists (with only two from Texas) while the other national categories feature 20 semifinalists. Texas is so large and has such a wealth of talented chefs and amazing restaurants that the Lone Star State gets a category of its own for Best Chef for the second time just as New York and California long have. In addition to the 20 semifinalists for Best Chef: Texas, Lone Star culinary standouts earned 17 national semifinalist spots.

Tiffany Derry of Roots Southern Table in Farmers Branch in the Dallas area is the only chef who picked up two semifinalist nods. But plenty of other Texas restaurants, bars and chefs grabbed a spot.

Best New Restaurant

Houston neighbor Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House in San Leon and Derry’s Roots Southern Table are up for the major award.

Emerging Chef

Amanda Turner of Austin’s Olamaie restaurant and Edgar Rico of Austin’s Nixta Taqueria are up for Emerging Chef.

Outstanding Restaurateur

Houston’s Chris Williams of Lucille’s Hospitality Group, Larry and Jessica Delgado of the Delgado Collective in McAllen

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Outstanding Chef

Emiliano Marentes of ELEMI in El Paso is vying for Outstanding Chef.

Outstanding Restaurant

Mixtli in San Antonio earned a coveted Outstanding Restaurant nod.

Ruben Ortega is one of two Texas chefs honored as semifinalists in the James Beard Awards Outstanding Pastry Chef category.

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Sofia Tejeda of Mixtli in San Antonio, Ruben Ortega of Xochi in Houston are both up for Outstanding Pastry Chef.

Outstanding Baker

David Cáceres of La Panadería in San Antonio and Maricsa Trejo of La Casita Bakeshop in Richardson are Outstanding Baker semifinalists.

Outstanding Hospitality

Hugo’s in Houston and José in Dallas made major moves in the Outstanding Hospitality category.

Outstanding Wine Program

High Street Wine Co. in San Antonio, Sachet in Dallas and Las Almas Rotas in Dallas all earned Outstanding Wine Program semifinalist nods.

Outstanding Bar Program

Julep in Houston is the lone Texas cocktail haven to grab an Outstanding Bar Program nod in the national competition.

Top Chef alum and Beaumont-native chef Tiffany Derry’s Roots Southern Table is a modern take on Southern food. (Courtesy photo)

Best Chefs: Texas

Alex Au-Yeung of Phat Eatery in Katy

Damien Brockway of Distant Relatives in Austin

Aaron Bludorn of Bludorn in Houston

Sylvia Casares of Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen in Houston

Tiffany Derry of Roots Southern Table in Farmers Branch

Christine Ha and Tony J. Nguyen of Xin Chào in Houston

Quy Hoang of Blood Bros. BBQ in Bellaire

Kaiser Lashkari of Himalaya Restaurant in Houston

Matt McCallister of Homewood in Dallas

Aaron Bludorn_Julie Soefer (1)
Bludorn chef/owner Aaron Bludorn a semi-finalist for Best Chef: Texas. (Photo by Julie Soefer)

Steven McHugh of Cured in San Antonio

Misti Norris of Petra & the Beast in Dallas

Anastacia Quiñones-Pittman of José in Dallas

Esaul Ramos Jr. of 2M Smokehouse in San Antonio

Felipe Riccio of MARCH in Houston

Regino Rojas of Revolver Taco Lounge in Dallas

John Russ of Clementine in San Antonio

Ernest Servantes and David Kirkland of Burnt Bean Co. in Seguin

Iliana de la Vega of El Naranjo in Austin

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