clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Anvil Bar & Refuge And Mala Sichuan Bistro’s Jianyun Ye Are 2017 James Beard Award Semifinalists

Nine Houstonians are up for the awards

Is this the country’s best bar?
Amy McCarthy is a reporter at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

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

Best Service

Hugo’s, Houston

Rising Star Chef of the Year

William Wright, Helen Greek Food and Wine, Houston

Outstanding Bar Program

Anvil Bar & Refuge, Houston

Outstanding Restaurateur

Tracy Vaught, H Town Restaurant Group, Houston (Hugo’s, Caracol, Backstreet Cafe, and others)