Today in a press release, the James Beard Foundation revealed the semifinalist nominees for the 2022 James Beard Awards.
At a glance, the list appears to be one of the most diverse — across race, gender, geography, styles of service, and styles of cuisine — in the foundation’s history. There are some new categories this year, meant to address the findings of an extensive 2021 audit to address the longstanding biases baked into the awards process. There is now an emerging chef award; unlike previous years’ rising star chef award, the nominees below were not subjected to an age cut off. The regional best chef categories have also been reconfigured, with California, New York, and Texas each getting their own categories, in hopes of recognizing a broader geographic range of winners.
Voting is also different this year: previous JBFA winners (a group that skews white, and male) are no longer automatically included in the voting body that determines who from the semifinalist lists moves onto the finalist list, and then the winners list. The voting body has broadened to also include food experts beyond traditional food media and chefs, all with a goal of having 45 percent of committee members and judges be people of color this year, and 50 percent next year.
Finalists will be announced on Wednesday, March 16, while winners will be feted at a gala in Chicago on Monday, June 13. Check out the full semifinalist list below.
- Ashok Bajaj, Knightsbridge Restaurant Group (Rasika, Bindaas, Annabelle, and others), Washington, D.C.
- Kim Bartmann, Bartmann Group, Minneapolis
- Chris Bianco, Tratto, Pane Bianco, and Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix
- Jason and Sue Chin, Good Salt Restaurant Group, Orlando, FL
- Brandon Chrostowski, EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Institute, Cleveland
- Larry and Jessica Delgado, Delgado Collective, McAllen, TX
- Ravi DeRossi, Overthrow Hospitality, NYC
- Greg Dulan, Dulan’s Soul Food Restaurant, Los Angeles
- Kevin Gillespie, Red Beard Restaurants (Gunshow, Ole Reliable, and Revival), Atlanta
- Andrew Le, The Pig and the Lady and Piggy Smalls, Honolulu
- Marc Meyer, Vicki Freeman, and Chris Paraskevaides, Bowery Group (Shuka, Shukette, Vic’s, and others) NYC
- Joe Muench, Black Shoe Hospitality, Milwaukee
- Willy Ng, Koi Palace, Dragon Beaux, and Palette Tea House, San Francisco
- Akkapong “Earl” Ninsom, Langbaan, Hat Yai, Eem, and others, Portland, OR
- Todd Richards and Joshua Lee, The Soulful Company (Lake & Oak), Atlanta
- J.D. Simpson and Roger Yopp, SavannahBlue, Detroit
- Deborah Snow and Barbara White, Blue Heron Restaurant & Catering, Sunderland, MA
- Chris Williams, Lucille’s Hospitality Group, Houston
- Ellen Yin, High Street Hospitality Group (Fork, a.kitchen + bar, High Street Philly, and others), Philadelphia
- Edwin Zoe, Zoe Ma Ma and Chimera Ramen, Boulder and Denver, CO
- Reem Assil, Reem’s, Oakland and San Francisco,