Dallas-Fort Worth has eight James Beard semifinalists
Driving the news: The James Beard Foundation announced its semifinalists for awards honoring the best in food and drinks across the country.
- D-FW snagged three national nominations and five best chefs in Texas nominations.
Why it matters: The James Beards Awards are essentially the Oscars of American cuisine.
- This year, there are 19 Lone Star State semifinalists, down slightly from last year.
Flashback: North Texas had six finalists in national categories last year but didn't win any awards.
- Some of this year's semifinalists are familiar names from last year. Beloved Italian eatery Lucia and La Casita Bakeshop are again named in the national awards categories.
The intrigue: The foundation is increasingly recognizing Texas restaurants in the national categories.
- Texas had eight finalists in national categories last year, up from just one national finalist in 2018 and again in 2019.
- Gemma is a semifinalist in the outstanding hospitality category. The restaurant was updated and its menu was refreshed late last year.
Meanwhile: Two of the five local semifinalists in the Texas best chef category were also named last year — Anastacia Quiñones-Pittman of José and Regino Rojas of Purépecha at Revolver Taco. The others are:
- Rich Vana of The Heritage Table in Frisco.
Of note: Junior Borges was an outstanding chef semifinalist last year for his work at Meridian at The Village, but he later left the restaurant.
What's next: Finalists will be announced on April 3, and winners will be celebrated at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards Ceremony on June 10 in Chicago.
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