Cheers To Texas’ 2018 James Beard Award Semifinalists!

We’re raising a glass to James Beard Award semifinalists! More than 20 of the nominees for the 2018 James Beard Award are from Texas and we couldn’t be more proud of and excited for them.

The James Beard Foundation celebrates and recognizes chefs and other culinary leaders making a difference in America’s food culture. The national nonprofit is named in honor of James Beard, an American chef and cookbook author who championed American cuisine and taught and mentored generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts. His legacy is preserved in the foundation, which provides scholarships for culinary students and recognizes notable and exceptional chefs and journalists. The James Beard Award honors chefs and culinary leaders for what they bring to the table — delicious, diverse and sustainable cuisine for everyone!

To celebrate our local James Beard Award nominees, we’re bringing you some of the dishes from their restaurants. Scroll for new recipes, plus a complete list of Texas semifinalists below.

Texas 2018 James Beard Award Nominations

Best New Restaurant

Kemuri Tatsu-ya, Austin

Outstanding Bar Program

Anvil Bar & Refuge, Houston

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Jillian Bartolome, Aqui, Houston
Laura Sawicki, Launderette, Austin

Outstanding Restaurateur

Jillian Bartolome, Aqui, Houston

Outstanding Service

Outstanding Wine Program

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, Houston

Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional

Jeffrey Stuffings, Jester King Brewery, Austin

Rising Star Chef of the Year

Martha De Leon, Pax Americana, Houston

Best Chef Southwest

Ross Coleman and James Haywood, Kitchen 713, Houston
Anita Jaisinghani, Pondicheri, Houston
Trong Nguyen, Crawfish & Noodles, Houston
Ronnie Killen, Killen’s Steakhouse, Pearland, TX
Ryan Pera, Coltivare, Houston
Norma Frances “Tootsie” Tomanetz, Snow’s BBQ, Lexington, TX
 Diego Galicia and Rico Torres, Mixtli, San Antonio
Kevin Fink, Emmer & Rye, Austin
Michael Fojtasek, Olamaie, Austin
Bryce Gilmore, Barley Swine, Austin**

* Indicates chefs or restaurants that were featured on Goodtaste with Tanji previously
** Bryce Gilmore also owns Odd Duck in Austin, which was previously featured on Goodtaste with Tanji

Pondicheri’s Fig & Raspberry Galette

Image: India 1948/Pondicheri/Anita Jaisinghani

Since we’re celebrating, we thought we’d start you off with this Fig and Raspberry Galette from Anita Jaisinghani, the executive chef and owner of Pondicheri in Houston and New York City. Fans of her amazing restaurants know her dishes are richly flavored and taste so unique. Her new website India 1948 is every gourmand’s dream, filled with recipes and advice and amazing recipes like this one. Get this showstopping galette here.

Xochi’s Barbacoa de Zaachila

Let us introduce you to this new recipe that is sure to bump up your next batch of barbacoa! The Barbacoa de Zaachila by Chef Hugo Ortega is absolutely delicious. The preparation is a bit more involved, but trust us, the payoff is there — this dish is exquisite. Get it here.

Hugo’s Churros

Three cheers for churros! These sweet, deep-fried fritters are dredged in sugar and taste oh-so delicious with a cup of hot chocolate — get the recipe here. Chef Hugo Ortega (of Hugo’s, Xochi and Caracol and the H-Town Restaurant Group) was featured in our first season of Goodtaste. View his story here.

Coltivare Spaghetti with Black Pepper

Image Credit: Julie Soefer for Coltivare

You can whip up your own gourmet dinner in just a few simple steps, thanks to Ryan Pera, the executive chef and owner of Coltivare in Houston’s Heights neighborhood. This Spaghetti with Black Pepper is so simple, yet so refined and tasty. Get the recipe here.

Killen’s Steakhouse Creamed Corn

Image Credit: Ronnie Killen, Killen’s Steakhouse

Sometimes, the side dishes are just as memorable as the main event! That’s especially true with Ronnie Killen’s *killer* Creamed Corn recipe. Get the recipe here. We featured Killen’s BBQ on our first season of Goodtaste — watch it here.

The James Beard Media Awards will take place on Friday, April 27. The James Beard Award Gala will be on Monday, May 7. Cheers to all of our amazing semifinalists — we’re rooting for you!

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