Jan 24, 2024 - Food and Drink

New Orleans chefs named James Beard 2024 semifinalists

An illustration of a golden plate, knife and fork are encircled with an award ribbon.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Ten New Orleans-area chefs, restaurants and restaurateurs are up for James Beard awards in 2024.

Why it matters: Despite nominations in the last two years, no New Orleanian has walked away from the James Beard Chef and Restaurant Awards as a winner.

  • But maybe 2024 marks a return.

Among the semifinalists are:

  • Robert LeBlanc of LeBlanc + Smith, which operates Sylvain, The Chloe, The Will & The Way, and others, for Outstanding Restaurateur.
  • Dakar NOLA for Best New Restaurant.
  • Arnaud's for Outstanding Hospitality.
  • Jewel of the South for Outstanding Bar.
  • Melissa Araujo of Alma Cafe, Amarys Herndon and Jordan Herndon of Palm&Pine, Sophina Uong of Mister Mao, Arvinder Vilkhu of Saffron NOLA and Marlon "Chicken" Williams of Chicken's Kitchen in Gretna for Best Chef: South.

What's next: The organization will whittle down the lists of semifinalists to nominees, which will be announced April 3.

  • Then, nominees are invited to the James Beard Awards, held in Chicago June 10.

Editor's note: This story has updated to include Marlon "Chicken" Williams as a Best Chef South semifinalist and corrected to reflect that no New Orleanian has won the James Beard Award in the last two years. People from the city have won the award before that.


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