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Food & Drink

More Than a Dozen North Texas Chefs and Restaurants Are 2023 James Beard Semifinalists

And on the full list, 49 Texas bars, chefs, restaurants, and restaurateurs made the cut.
By |
Eliesa Johnson

While many people are buzzing about yesterday’s Academy Award nominations, the food world is rightfully feasting its eyes on the list of James Beard Award semifinalists that was released Wednesday morning. And folks, Dallas-Fort Worth chefs and restaurants did not disappoint. Fifteen new and familiar chefs and restaurants made the list this year, and there was a decent spread of categories with D-FW representation.

Junior Borges of the modern Brazilian restaurant Meridian is a semifinalist in the Outstanding Chef category, and popular Italian restaurant Lucia is a semifinalist in the Outstanding Restaurant category. Best New Restaurant semifinalists include Don Artemio in Fort Worth, and Dallas’ Restaurant Beatrice and Tatsu, both of which made D’s list of Best New Restaurants this year.

Statewide, a few familiar names dot the list: Anastacia Quiñones-Pittman of José, John Russ of Clementine in San Antonio, Damien Brockway of Distant Relatives in Austin, Ernest Servantes and David Kirkland of Burnt Bean Co. in Seguin, and Regino Rojas of Revolver Taco Lounge in Dallas. All are semifinalists for the Best Chef: Texas category. Another notable addition to the Best Chef category: Olivia López and Jonathan Percival of Molino Olōyō, which is a Mexican pop-up in Dallas.

La Casita Bakeshop, whose owner and head baker Maricsa Trejo was a James Beard Award semifinalist last year for the Outstanding Baker category, is a semifinalist in the Outstanding Bakery category this year.

Check out the list of nearly 50 Texas chefs, restaurateurs, bars, and restaurants that made the semifinalist list this year. Fifteen of them, in bold below, are in D-FW. A ceremony will be held June 5 to announce the winners.

Outstanding Restaurateur

  • Chris Williams, Lucille’s Hospitality Group, Houston, TX 

Outstanding Chef

  • Junior Borges, Meridian, Dallas, TX
  • Christine Ha and Tony J. Nguyen, Xin Chào, Houston, TX 

Outstanding Restaurant Presented by Acqua Panna® Natural Spring Water

  • La Condesa, Austin, TX
  • Lucia, Dallas, TX 

Emerging Chef Presented by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water

  • Victoria Elizondo, Cochinita & Co., Houston, TX 
  • Jennifer Hwa Dobbertin, Best Quality Daughter, San Antonio, TX 

Best New Restaurant

Outstanding Bakery

Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker

  • Mariela Camacho, Comadre Panadería, Austin, TX 
  • Anne Ng, Bakery Lorraine, San Antonio, TX 

Outstanding Hospitality Presented by American Airlines

  • The Local, Abilene, TX 
  • Theodore Rex, Houston, TX 

Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program

  • Nancy’s Hustle, Houston, TX 
  • Suerte, Austin, TX 

Outstanding Bar

  • Las Ramblas, Brownsville, TX 
  • Weathered Souls Brewing Company, San Antonio, TX 

Best Chef: Texas

  • Nicola Blaque, The Jerk Shack, San Antonio, TX 
  • Tavel Bristol-Joseph, Canje, Austin, TX 
  • Damien Brockway, Distant Relatives, Austin, TX 
  • Reyna Duong, Sandwich Hag, Dallas, TX 
  • Kareem El-Ghayesh, KG BBQ, Austin, TX 
  • Jalen Heard, Lane Milne, and Jonny White, Goldee’s Barbecue, Fort Worth, TX 
  • Andrew Ho, Andrew Samia, and Sean Wen, Curry Boys BBQ, San Antonio, TX 
  • Greg Gatlin, Gatlin’s BBQ, Houston, TX 
  • Benchawan Jabthong Painter, Street to Kitchen, Houston, TX 
  • Ai Le, Nam Giao, Houston, TX 
  • Olivia López and Jonathan Percival, Molino Olōyō, Dallas, TX 
  • Enrique Lozano, El Charlatan, Socorro, TX 
  • Emiliano Marentes, ELEMI, El Paso, TX 
  • Ana Liz Pulido, Ana Liz Taqueria, Mission, TX  
  • Anastacia Quiñones-Pittman, José, Dallas, TX
  • Regino Rojas, Revolver Taco Lounge, Dallas, TX 
  • John Russ, Clementine, San Antonio, TX 
  • Ernest Servantes and David Kirkland, Burnt Bean Co., Seguin, TX 
  • Kiran Verma, Kiran’s, Houston, TX 
  • Jon Walter, Chez Sami, Wolfforth, TX 

Check out the full list of James Beard Award semifinalists here.


Nataly Keomoungkhoun

Nataly Keomoungkhoun

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Nataly Keomoungkhoun joined D Magazine as the online dining editor in 2022. She previously worked at the Dallas Morning News,…

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