The man himself, James Beard...in medal form. Eliesa Johnson

Awards

And Your Dallas James Beard Award Semifinalists Are…

It's the first year that Texas is its own regional category for best chefs.

Another year, another award season for the chefs and restaurants that make Dallas such a thrilling city in which to dine right now. The James Beard Awards are what everyone most resoundingly call the Oscars of the culinary world. And today, the James Beard Foundation announced its 2020 lineup of nationwide semifinalists.

Last year, Petra and the Beast received a Best New Restaurant nod, Ricardo Sanchez of Bullion landed on the long list of outstanding pastry chefs, and, for service, The French Room. But accolades were few as Dallas was notably absent from the other fiercely competitive bar, wine, baker, chef, Rising Star chef, restaurant, and restaurateur categories.

Not the cast this year! Dallas pops up in more national categories this year, including Best Bar Program (Las Almas Rotas!) and Outstanding Baker (we see you, Clyde Greenhouse). Shouts to Salaryman for the rad Best New Restaurant nod. And we’ve got two Outstanding Pastry Chef semifinalists (hi, Maggie Huff and Ricchi Sanchez).

In September, the JBF announced its newly redistricted regions, which grew from 10 to a dozen, including Texas as its own category entirely. The state contained magnitudes so the organization freed it from the Southwest section. I think you’ll recognize some familiar faces down below, too.

Next month, the food organization will trim these names down to a much shorter and more competitive list. Then in May, at a gala in Chicago, the winners will take home some shiny medals and top-notch bragging rights.

But as of right now, let’s a raise a glass to our Dallas area food pros.

Best New Restaurant

Salaryman, Dallas

Rising Star Chef of the Year

Bria Downey, Clay Pigeon Food & Drink, Fort Worth, TX

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Maggie Huff, Homewood, Dallas
Ricardo “Ricchi” Sanchez, Bullion, Dallas

Outstanding Baker

Clyde Greenhouse, Kessler Baking Studio, Dallas

Outstanding Bar Program

Las Almas Rotas, Dallas

Best Chef: Texas

Misti Norris, Petra and the Beast, Dallas
Regino Rojas, Revolver Taco Lounge, Dallas
Teiichi Sakurai, Tei-An, Dallas
Donny Sirisavath, Khao Noodle Shop, Dallas
Molly McCook, Ellerbe Fine Foods, Fort Worth, TX

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