Visit Orlando Orlandos Magical Dining program
Eleven new restaurants – including two celebrity chef restaurants – have joined Orlando's Magical Dining program for the first time, including Jaleo by José Andrés. Image © Rey Lopez/Jaleo

The 30th Annual James Beard Award Semifinalists have been announced, and the South is again well represented in various categories:

Best New Restaurant:

  • Automatic Seafood & Oysters, Birmingham, AL
  • The Blind Goat, Houston
  • Cultura, Asheville, NC
  • Gianna, New Orleans
  • iNDO, St. Louis
  • Lazy Betty, Atlanta
  • Oak Hill Café & Farm, Greenville, SC
  • Salaryman, Dallas
  • Squable, Houston

Outstanding Baker

  • Evrim Dogu and Evin Dogu, Sub Rosa Bakery, Richmond, VA
  • Graison Gill, Bellegarde Bakery, New Orleans
  • Clyde Greenhouse, Kessler Baking Studio, Dallas
  • David Norman, Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden, Austin
  • Nathaniel Reid, Nathaniel Reid Bakery, Kirkwood, MO
  • Chris Wilkins, Root Baking Co., Atlanta

Outstanding Bar Program

  • Anvil Bar & Refuge, Houston
  • The Atomic Lounge, Birmingham, AL
  • Kimball House, Decatur, GA
  • Las Almas Rotas, Dallas

Outstanding Chef

  • John Fleer, Rhubarb, Asheville, NC
  • Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans
  • Justin Yu, Theodore Rex, Houston

Outstanding Hospitality

  • Angus Barn Steakhouse, Raleigh, NC
  • Brigtsen’s, New Orleans
  • Chez Fonfon, Birmingham, AL
  • Leon’s Fine Poultry & Oyster Shop, Charleston, SC

Outstanding Pastry Chef

  • Antonio Bachour, Bachour, Coral Gables, FL
  • Sylvia Gould, Kool Beanz Cafe, Tallahassee, FL
  • Maggie Huff, Homewood, Dallas
  • Claudia Martinez, Tiny Lou’s, Atlanta
  • Ricardo “Ricchi” Sanchez, Bullion, Dallas
  • Krystle Swenson, Crawford and Son, Raleigh, NC
  • Katherine Thompson, Thompson Italian, Falls Church, VA

Outstanding Restaurant

  • FIG, Charleston, SC
  • Mai Lee, Brentwood, MO

Outstanding Restrauteur

  • JoAnn Clevenger, Upperline Restaurant, New Orleans
  • Benjamin Goldberg and Max Goldberg, Strategic Hospitality, Nashville (The Catbird Seat, The Patterson House, Henrietta Red, and others)
  • Larry McGuire and Tom Moorman, McGuire Moorman Hospitality, Austin (Jeffrey’s, Perla’s, Pool Burger, and others)
  • Ouita Michel, Ouita Michel Family of Restaurants, Lexington, KY (Holly Hill Inn, The Midway Bakery and Cafe, Honeywood, and others)
  • Steve Palmer, The Indigo Road, Charleston, SC (Indaco, The Macintosh, O-Ku Sushi, and others)
  • Tracy Vaught, H Town Restaurant Group, Houston (Hugo’s, Xochi, Caracol, and others)

Outstanding Wine Program

  • Bacchanal, New Orleans
  • Lucky Palace, Bossier City, LA
  • Miller Union, Atlanta
  • Rosie Cannonball, Houston

Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Producer

  • Scott Blackwell and Ann Marshall, High Wire Distilling Co., Charleston, SC
  • Austin Evans and Richard Patrick Jr., Cathead Distillery, Jackson, MS
  • Drew Kulsveen, Willett Distillery, Bardstown, KY
  • Kim McPherson, McPherson Cellars, Lubbock, TX
  • Jeffrey Stuffings and Michael Stuffings, Jester King Brewery, Austin
  • Rutger de Vink, RdV Vineyards, Delaplane, VA

Rising Star Chef Of The Year

  • Will Aghajanian and Liz Johnson, The Catbird Seat, Nashville
  • Ana Castro, Thalia, New Orleans
  • Valerie Chang, ITAMAE, Miami
  • Bria Downey, Clay Pigeon Food & Drink, Fort Worth, TX
  • Henry Moso, Kabooki Sushi, Orlando, FL
  • Ashleigh Shanti, Benne on Eagle, Asheville, NC
  • Kaitlin Steets, Theodore Rex, Houston
  • Maricela Vega, 8ARM, Atlanta

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)

  • Sunny Baweja, Lehja, Richmond, VA
  • Peter and Lisa Chang, Mama Chang, Fairfax, VA

Best Chef: South (AL, AR, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, FL, LA, MS)

  • Blake Aguillard and William “Trey” Smith, Saint-Germain, New Orleans
  • Lindsay Autry, The Regional Kitchen & Public House, West Palm Beach, FL
  • Timon Balloo, Balloo Restaurant, Miami
  • Michael Beltran, Ariete, Coconut Grove, FL
  • Bill Briand, Fisher’s Upstairs at Orange Beach Marina, Orange Beach, AL
  • Derek Emerson, CAET, Ridgeland, MS
  • Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus, Coquette, New Orleans
  • Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer, Boia De, Miami
  • Hao Gong, LUVI Restaurant, New Orleans
  • Michael Gulotta, Maypop, New Orleans
  • Mason Hereford, Turkey and the Wolf, New Orleans
  • Timothy Hontzas, Johnny’s Restaurant, Homewood, AL
  • Duane Nutter, Southern National, Mobile, AL
  • Niven Patel, Ghee, Miami
  • Rafael Rios, Yeyo’s Mexican Grill, Bentonville, AR
  • Austin Sumrall, White Pillars, Biloxi, MS
  • Isaac Toups, Toups’ Meatery, New Orleans

Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)

  • Katie Button, Cúrate, Asheville, NC
  • Gregory Collier, Uptown Yolk, Charlotte, NC
  • Adam Cooke, Topsoil Kitchen & Market, Travelers Rest, SC
  • Cassidee Dabney, The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN
  • Steven Devereaux Greene, Herons at The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Cary, NC
  • Bryan Furman, B’s Cracklin’ Barbecue, Atlanta
  • Josh Habiger, Bastion, Nashville
  • Meherwan Irani, Chai Pani, Asheville, NC
  • Kevin Johnson, The Grocery, Charleston, SC
  • Philip Krajeck, FOLK, Nashville
  • Joe Kindred, Kindred, Davidson, NC
  • Cheetie Kumar, Garland, Raleigh, NC
  • Jiyeon Lee and Cody Taylor, Heirloom Market BBQ, Atlanta
  • Leonard Lewis, Bones, Atlanta
  • Ricky Moore, Saltbox Seafood Joint, Durham, NC
  • Annie Pettry, Decca, Louisville, KY
  • Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Memphis, TN
  • Julia Sullivan, Henrietta Red, Nashville
  • Viviek Surti, Tailor, Nashville
  • Shamil Velazquez, Delaney Oyster House, Charleston, SC

Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, NM, NV, OK)

  • Lisa Becklund, Living Kitchen Farm & Dairy, Depew, OK
  • Jeff Chanchaleune, Gun Izakaya, Oklahoma City
  • Kevin Snell, Amelia’s, Tulsa, OK

Best Chef: Texas

  • Dawn Burrell, Kulture, Houston
  • Kevin Fink, Emmer & Rye, Austin
  • Michael Fojtasek, Olamaie, Austin
  • Alexandra Gates, Cochineal, Marfa, TX
  • Manabu Horiuchi, Kata Robata, Houston
  • Anita Jaisinghani, Pondicheri, Houston
  • Molly McCook, Ellerbe Fine Foods, Fort Worth, TX
  • Steve McHugh, Cured, San Antonio
  • Aldo Mora, Cafe Central, El Paso, TX
  • Trong Nguyen, Crawfish & Noodles, Houston
  • Misti Norris, Petra and the Beast, Dallas
  • Alex Paredes, Carnitas Lonja, San Antonio
  • Esaul Ramos, 2M Smokehouse, San Antonio
  • Regino Rojas, Revolver Taco Lounge, Dallas
  • Teiichi Sakurai, Tei-An, Dallas
  • Donny Sirisavath, Khao Noodle Shop, Dallas
  • Norma Frances “Tootsie” Tomanetz, Snow’s BBQ, Lexington, TX
  • Jason Vaughan, Nancy’s Hustle, Houston
  • Iliana de la Vega, El Naranjo, Austin
  • Laurie Williamson, Rancho Loma, Talpa, TX

FINALISTS WILL BE ANNOUNCED MARCH 25th

South Well Represented In 2019 James Beard Awards

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