Coming off last year’s big win in the Best Chef — Southwest category, Houston will look to repeat the magic at the 2017 James Beard Awards, where nine Houston-area establishments, chefs, and culinary professionals are looking to win a medal.
Announced via release, this year’s list of James Beard Award semifinalists includes nine Houstonians, ten if you count Atlanta restaurateur and State Of Grace owner Ford Fry. The nominations come in multiple categories, including Best Chef, Best Service, Rising Star Chef of the Year, and Outstanding Restaurateur.
Last year, Oxheart’s Justin Yu took home the Best Chef — Southwest award, which is why you won’t see his name on this year’s list. Still, with heavy-hitters like Pondicheri’s Anita Jaisinghani and Kata Robata’s Manabu Horiuchi on the list, Houston still has one hell of a chance to bring home another Beard in 2017.
The James Beard Foundation will whittle down their list of finalists on March 15, and the actual awards won’t be held until May. In the meantime, scope out the full list of Houston-based semifinalists below.
Best Chef — Southwest
Manabu Horiuchi, Kata Robata, Houston
Anita Jaisinghani, Pondicheri, Houston
Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan, The Pass, Houston
Hugo Ortega, Hugo’s, Houston
Jianyun Ye, Mala Sichuan Bistro, Houston
Rising Star Chef of the Year
William Wright, Helen Greek Food and Wine, Houston
Outstanding Bar Program
Anvil Bar & Refuge, Houston
Tracy Vaught, H Town Restaurant Group, Houston (Hugo’s, Caracol, Backstreet Cafe, and others)