2024 James Beard Awards: 12 Arizona chefs, restaurants are semifinalists | Phoenix New Times

James Beard Awards name 12 Arizona semifinalists

Across seven categories, 12 Arizona chefs and restaurants made the first round.
Armando Hernandez and Nadia Holguin are semifinalists for Outstanding Restaurateurs in the 2024 James Beard Awards.
Armando Hernandez and Nadia Holguin are semifinalists for Outstanding Restaurateurs in the 2024 James Beard Awards. Jacob Tyler Dunn
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Awards season is in full swing and the Oscars of food announced its semifinalists on Wednesday morning.

In the 2024 James Beard Awards, 12 Arizona chefs and restaurants have made it into the first round. This gives them the chance to become finalists, and then potentially win one of the highest honors that a chef or restaurant can receive.

Last year was an unusual one in Arizona's relationship with the James Beard Awards. There was a strong showing in the semifinalist round, also with 12 chefs or restaurants in the running. But the strong start turned into a total washout when none of the Arizona semifinalists made it to the next round. We dubbed it the year's biggest snub.

In 2022, chefs Chris Bianco and Don Guerra brought home James Beard Awards, making them the most recent Arizona winners.

This year, the finalists will be announced on April 3 and the winners will be crowned at a ceremony on June 10.

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Grill master Rene Andrade of Bacanora was nominated for Best Chef Southwest.
JM Photo

2024 James Beard Award semifinalists in Arizona

Outstanding Restaurateur: Armando Hernandez and Nadia Holguin, Cocina Chiwas and Tacos Chiwas, Tempe and Phoenix

Emerging Chef: Roberto Centeno, Espiritu, Mesa

Best New Restaurant: Ava Bakery, Phoenix

Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker: Crystal Kass, Valentine, Phoenix

Outstanding Hospitality: Andreoli Italian Grocer, Scottsdale

Outstanding Bar: Little Rituals, Phoenix

Best Chef - Southwest:
  • Rene Andrade, Bacanora, Phoenix
  • Flavia Briones, Barista Del Barrio, Tucson
  • Pornsupak “Cat” Bunnag, Glai Baan, Phoenix
  • Wendy Garcia, Tumerico, Tucson
  • Sam Greenhalgh, Forêt, Flagstaff
  • Claudio Urciuoli, Source, Gilbert
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