The James Beard Foundation has announced the semifinalists in its 2012 restaurant and chef awards categories, and the results include a number of Austin chefs.
All three of these Austin chefs are also nominated locally for the inaugural Tastemaker Awards to be announced April 12th at the Driskill Hotel. Tickets went on sale to the public on Tuesday morning for that event.
The Beards are often referred to as the "Oscars of the food world." But unlike this weekend's Academy Awards and its two-step nominee/winner process, the Beard's restaurant and chef categories follow a three-step system, involving semifinalists, nominees and winners.
In the first round of judging, the foundation selects 20 semifinalists in 20 categories. Judges (hundreds of critics, journalists, food professionals and past winners) vote for up to five names in each category. The top five vote-getters among the semifinalists advance to the nomination stage and are called "nominees." (Not "finalists.") A second round of voting commences, and the top vote-getter among the five nominees is declared the winner at the foundation's annual gala.
Outstanding Bar Program:
Anvil Bar & Refuge, Houston
The Esquire Tavern, San Antonio
Best New Restaurant
Outstanding Pastry Chef
Julieta V. Adauto, Orange Peel Pastries, Cakes & More, El Paso
Jason Dady, Jason Dady Restaurants, San Antonio
Nick Badovinus, Flavor Hook, Dallas
Best Chef: Southwest
Bruce Auden, Biga on the Banks, San Antonio
Manabu Horiuchi, Kata Robata, Houston
Anita Jaisinghani, Indika, Houston
Maiya Keck, Maiya’s, Marfa
Hugo Ortega, Hugo’s, Houston
Restaurant and chef nominees will be announced on March 19 from Las Vegas, along with nominees in the foundation's cookbook, design and journalism categories. Winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony on May 7 at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in New York City.
Congratulations to all semifinalists!