Just one Twin Cities chef named James Beard finalist
Though five Twin Cities chefs made the shortlist, only pastry chef Shawn McKenzie progressed to the final round of the prestigious James Beard awards.
Why it matters: Recognition by the culinary awards reminds the nation that the Twin Cities has some serious restaurant game, but 80% of our semi-finalists were left out for the final vote.
- Yia Vang, Christina Nguyen, Karyn Tomlinson and Ann Ahmed were all in the running for Best Chef Midwest.
Flashback: Three chefs, including Vang, and Indigenous restaurant Owamni were 2022 James Beard finalists. Owamni went on to win the acclaimed Best New Restaurant award.
- 2023 is the first year without a Minnesota finalist in the Best Chef Midwest category in two decades, according to the Star Tribune.
What's next: McKenzie, known for her work at Café Cerés and Rustica, will compete against four others from across the country in the highly competitive Best Pastry Chef or Baker category.
- The winners will be announced June 5.
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