Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House in San Leon (shown) and Tiffany Derry's Roots Southern Table in the Dallas suburb of Farmers Branch receive James Beard Award semi-finalist honors for Best New Restaurant. (Photo by Shelby Hodge)
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)
Ruben Ortega of Xochi is one of two Texas chef semi-finalists in the James Beard Awards Outstanding Pastry Chef category.
Sylvia Casares of Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen has been named a semi-finalist as Best Chef: Texas in the James Beard Awards.
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
Amanda Turner of Austin’s Olamaie restaurant and Edgar Rico of Austin’s Nixta Taqueria are up for Emerging Chef.
Houston’s Chris Williams of Lucille’s Hospitality Group, Larry and Jessica Delgado of the Delgado Collective in McAllen
Emiliano Marentes of ELEMI in El Paso is vying for Outstanding Chef.
Mixtli in San Antonio earned a coveted Outstanding Restaurant nod.
Outstanding Pastry Chef
Sofia Tejeda of Mixtli in San Antonio, Ruben Ortega of Xochi in Houston are both up for Outstanding Pastry Chef.
David Cáceres of La Panadería in San Antonio and Maricsa Trejo of La Casita Bakeshop in Richardson are Outstanding Baker semifinalists.
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.
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
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