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Awards

How Dallas-Fort Worth Fared in the Reborn James Beard Awards

In the post-overhaul era of the foundation, here’s how North Texas has fared in this year’s first round of national food awards.
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The man himself, James Beard...in medal form. Eliesa Johnson

Wow, it feels like years since we’ve talked about the James Beard Awards. So much has happened in the food realm since 2020, the last time the James Beard Foundation recognized our national roster of outstanding restaurants and chefs. We’ve since had countless pivots, various COVID strains, and a racial reckoning that reached our nation’s kitchens and dining rooms.

The industry is a little more bruised and battered than usual. Hopefully today’s news comes as a salve. After all, so many people worked tirelessly to keep or open their restaurants during the most tumultuous times.

In the last award cycle, for 2021, the James Beard Foundation took a year off to reevaluate its process—which is still in fine-tuning mode—to be more inclusive across all of its award categories. This year’s round, then, should reflect a year’s worth of reflection and change.

Okay, onward! These are the Oscars of food awards! Let’s see how we fared.

As far as national nods go, Tiffany Derry’s Roots Southern Table in Farmers Branch has put North Texas in the running for Best New Restaurant and Best Chef: Texas this year. Other national categories such as Outstanding Restaurateur, Outstanding Chef, Outstanding Restaurant, Emerging Chef, and Outstanding Pastry Chef have missed Dallas this year.

But! Richardson’s Maricsa Trejo of La Casita Bakeshop is listed under Outstanding Baker. And in comes José, to represent Dallas proper for Outstanding Hospitality. Cheers to Sachet for landing under Outstanding Wine Program. A repeat from 2020, Las Almas Rotas is again recognized for Outstanding Bar Program. In the Best Chef: Texas category many familiar names pop up, from Regino Rojas of Revolver Taco Lounge to Homewood’s Matt McCallister. To see our local gems getting some spotlight, scroll on.

For the full list of James Beard Restaurant and Chef Semifinalists, head to the James Beard Foundation website. Winners will be revealed during a ceremony on June 13.

Best New Restaurant

Roots Southern Table, Farmers Branch, TX 

Outstanding Baker

Maricsa Trejo, La Casita Bakeshop, Richardson, TX

Outstanding Hospitality

José, Dallas

Outstanding Wine Program

Sachet, Dallas

Outstanding Bar Program

Las Almas Rotas, Dallas

Best Chef: Texas 

Alex Au-Yeung, Phat Eatery, Katy, TX 

Damien Brockway, Distant Relatives, Austin 

Aaron Bludorn, Bludorn, Houston 

Sylvia Casares, Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen, Houston 

Tiffany Derry, Roots Southern Table, Farmers Branch, TX 

Christine Ha and Tony J. Nguyen, Xin Chào, Houston 

Quy Hoang, Blood Bros. BBQ, Bellaire, TX 

Kaiser Lashkari, Himalaya Restaurant, Houston 

Matt McCallister, Homewood, Dallas 

Steven McHugh, Cured, San Antonio, TX 

Misti Norris, Petra & the Beast, Dallas 

Anastacia Quiñones-Pittman, José, Dallas 

Esaul Ramos Jr., 2M Smokehouse, San Antonio, TX 

Felipe Riccio, MARCH, Houston 

Regino Rojas, Revolver Taco Lounge, Dallas 

John Russ, Clementine, San Antonio, TX 

Ernest Servantes and David Kirkland, Burnt Bean Co., Seguin, TX 

Iliana de la Vega, El Naranjo, Austin 

Finn Walter, The Nicolett, Lubbock, TX 

Koji Yoshida, EBESU Robata & Sushi, Plano, TX 

Author

Rosin Saez

Rosin Saez

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Rosin Saez is the online dining editor for D Magazine's food blog SideDish. She hails from Seattle, Washington, where she…

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