Apr 3, 2024 - Food and Drink

San Antonio names announced as James Beard finalists

A white building surrounded by leafy trees.

Mixtli in Southtown also has a bar and wine cellar. Photo: Madalyn Mendoza/Axios

San Antonio's Mixtli and Christopher Cullum of Cullum's Attaboy are heading to the final round of the James Beard awards alongside nine other Texas chefs and restaurants.

Why it matters: San Antonians have been nominees in the past, but a local chef or restaurant has never won a James Beard award, which carries national prestige.

The latest: Mixtli, an innovative restaurant that transports diners through different regions of Mexico, was announced as a finalist for Outstanding Restaurant on Wednesday.

  • Cullum, of Cullum's Attaboy, is a finalist for Best Chef in Texas.

What they're saying: Chef Diego Galicia, who owns Mixtli with Rico Torres, isn't new to the excitement. The acclaimed restaurant has been a semifinalist before, but this is its first time as a finalist.

  • He said the congratulatory calls and text messages started blowing up his phone at 9am, before he could see the list for himself.
  • His first reaction was a reflection of the work his team has put in.
  • "It's not what I do but what we do as a team. It's 10 years of hard work, of dedication and commitment, and they deserve every bit of it. It's everyone that calls the restaurant home. Nothing — absolutely nothing — is sweeter than that," he says.

Zoom out: Texas is well represented in the list of finalists.

  • Outstanding Chef: David Uygur of Lucia (Dallas)
  • Outstanding Restaurant: Mixtli and Convenience West (Marfa)
  • Best New Restaurant: Barbs-B-Q (Lockhart)
  • Outstanding Hospitality: Gemma (Dallas)
  • Outstanding Bar: Las Ramblas (Brownsville)

In 2019, the foundation redistricted parts of the U.S. for the Best Chef category, giving Texas its own region. Here are the chefs representing that group with Cullum:

  • Emmanuel Chavez, Tatemó (Houston)
  • Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel, Birdie's (Austin)
  • Misti Norris, Petra and the Beast (Dallas)
  • Ana Liz Pulido, Ana Liz Taqueria (Mission)

What's next: The winners will be revealed at a gala in Chicago on June 10.

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