The 2024 James Beard Awards semifinalist nominations were announced by the James Beard Foundation. After a thorough 2021 audit, which addressed ingrained biases in the awards process, modifications have been implemented for the third awards season. In an effort to recognize a wider geographic range of winners, the regional best chef categories now include distinct honors for California, Texas, and New York in addition to an emerging chef award without an age cutoff.

Additionally, voting has changed from before the 2020 break. Previous winners, who are primarily white men, are no longer automatically included in the voting body that chooses who advances from the semifinalist to the finalist list below (and ultimately, the winner). Additionally, the voting body now includes members from non-food media. A minimum of fifty percent of committee members and judges must be persons of color by the time of the 2023 awards, as specified in the audit conducted in 2021.

Only the restaurant and chef categories are included in this “long list”; the finalists in both categories will be announced on April 3 and the winners will be unveiled on June 10 at a lavish ceremony in Chicago. Nominees for the Media Awards will be announced

Outstanding Restaurateur

A restaurateur who is committed to creating a sustainable work culture and making a positive impact on their local community, who exhibits ingenuity in entrepreneurship and integrity in restaurant management, and who uses their establishment(s) as a vehicle for community building.

• Ashok Bajaj, Knightsbridge Restaurant Group (Rasika, Annabelle, Sababa, and others), Washington, D.C.
• Itai Ben Eli and Itamar Levy, Sof Hospitality Group (Doris Metropolitan, Hamsa, and Bādolina Bakery & Café), Houston, TX
• Kimball Brienza and Stephen Palmer, O-Ku Sushi, Charleston, SC
• Marcos Carbajal, Carnitas Uruapan, Chicago, IL
• Bryan Chuntan and Pei Wei, Zaab Zaab and Zaab Zaab Talay, New York, NY
• Ravi DeRossi, Overthrow Hospitality (Cadence, Etérea, Avant Garden, and others), New York, NY
• Greg Dulan, Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen, Hotville Chicken, and DulanVILLE, Inglewood, CA
• Laile Fairbairn, Locally Grown Restaurants (Snow City Cafe, South Restaurant + Coffeehouse, and Spenard Roadhouse), Anchorage, AK
• Michael Gallina, Tara Gallina, and Aaron Martinez, Take Root Hospitality (Vicia, Winslow’s Table, Bistro La Floraison, and others), St. Louis, MO
• Armando Hernandez and Nadia Holguin, Cocina Chiwas and Tacos Chiwas, Tempe and Phoenix, AZ
• Robert LeBlanc, LeBlanc + Smith (Sylvain, The Chloe, The Will & The Way, and others), New Orleans, LA
• Hamissi Mamba and Nadia Nijimbere, Baobab Fare, Detroit, MI
• Nikki Ness Berglund and Ryan Nitschke, Luna Fargo, Sol Ave. Kitchen, Nova Eatery and others, Fargo, ND
• Quynh-Vy and Yenvy Pham, Phở Bắc Súp Shop, Phởcific Standard Time, and The Boat, Seattle, WA
• Nicolas Poilevey and Oliver Poilevey, Obelix, Le Bouchon, and Taqueria Chingón, Chicago, IL
• I-Ho Pomeroy, I-Ho’s Korean Grill, Bozeman, MT
• Cara Stadler and Cecile Stadler, BaoBao Dumpling House, Tao Yuan Restaurant, and ZaoZe Cafe & Market, Portland, ME
• Chris Viaud, Greenleaf, Ansanm, and Pavilion, Milford, NH
• Hollis Wells Silverman, Eastern Point Collective (The Duck & The Peach, La Collina, The Wells and others), Washington, D.C.
• Erika Whitaker and Kelly Whitaker, Id Est Hospitality Group (The Wolf’s Tailor, BRUTØ, Basta, and others), Boulder, CO

Outstanding Chef

A chef who sets high culinary standards and has served as a positive example for other food professionals while contributing positively to their broader community.



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