With all these awards flying around this week, it's getting hard to keep it all straight. So here's a refresher: The Arizona Restaurant Association created the Foodist Awards last year to celebrate "the most amazing tastes, faces and places in Arizona food and beverage."
Last year, the list of finalists was announced without disclosing the categories in which each person or restaurant was nominated. But this year, they've announced 30 finalists in 10 categories that include "Top Chef," "Food Pioneer," and the unexpected "Best Dish - Steak."
Finalists were selected from a pool of nearly 150 nominees -- nominations opened in late January and invited food industry professionals to nominate themselves and others for the awards. This year's award categories are as follows: Food Pioneer, Top Chef, Master Mixologist, Good Neighbor, Emerging Restaurant of the Year, Outstanding Restaurant Concept, Outstanding Food Truck, Outstanding Multiple-Location Restaurant, Uniquely Arizona, Best Dish "Steak."
The winners will be announced at the second annual Foodist Awards on Thursday, April 24 at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia.
Food Pioneer: · Sam Fox, FOX Restaurant Concepts · Craig DeMarco and Lauren Bailey, Upward Projects · Joe Johnston, Joe's Real BBQ/Liberty Market
Top Chef: · Charlene Badman, FnB · Cullen Campbell, Crudo · Gio Osso, Virtù
Master Mixologist: · Stephanie Teslar, Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails and Hotel Palomar · Andrew Record, Kadence Restaurant Group (Tucson) · Micah Olson, Bar Crudo
Good Neighbor: · The Vig · Upward Projects · Community Kitchen
Emerging Restaurant of the Year: · The Henry · The Original Chop Shop · Gadzooks
Outstanding Restaurant Concept: · Proof · POSH · O.H.S.O.
Outstanding Food Truck: · Hao Bao · Lobster Lady · Nogales Hot Dogs
Outstanding Multiple-Location Restaurant: · Postino Wine Café · Mastro's · Pita Jungle
Uniquely Arizona: · Elote · Cartwright's Sonoran Ranch House · Quiessence
Best Dish "Steak" · Bourbon Steak · Durant's · Donovan's Steak & Chop House
For more information visit the 2014 Foodist Award website.