Houston’s food scene continues to distinguish itself as one of the best in the nation with 12 restaurants and chefs in the city on the James Beard Foundations semifinalist list.
Hugo Ortega brought home an award for the Bayou City last year in the Best Chef – Southwest category, and his restaurant Xochi is among the finalists for this year’s Best Restaurant award, according to Eater.
Some heavy hitters in Houston’s restaurant scene and previous nominees return for another shot this year, alongside newcomers some may find surprising:
Locals will probably recognize Anvil Bar & Refuge, but Pondicheri’s Chef Anita Jaisinghan and Crawfish & Noodles’ Trong Nguyen are in the running for the first time this year in the Best Chef – Southwest category.
Here’s the entire list of Houstonians up for an award in 2018:
- Best New Restaurant: Xochi
- Outstanding Bar Program: Anvil Bar & Refuge
- Outstanding Pastry Chef: Jillian Bartolome, Aqui
- Outstanding Restaurateur: Tracy Vaught, H Town Restaurant Group (Hugo’s, Caracol, Xochi, and others)
- Outstanding Service: Hugo’s
- Outstanding Wine Program: Pappas Bros. Steakhouse
- Rising Star Chef of the Year: Martha De Leon, Pax Americana
- Best Chef: Southwest: Ross Coleman and James Haywood, Kitchen 713; Anita Jaisinghani, Pondicheri; Trong Nguyen, Crawfish & Noodles; Ryan Pera, Coltivare; Ronnie Killen, Killen’s Steakhouse
As Houstonia magazine described it, “the Oscars of food really likes what Houston is doing.”
According to the James Beard Foundation’s website, the finalists will be announced via an event in Philadelphia on March 14. The gala will be live streaming on Twitter and nominees will be announced in real time on their feed.
Good luck and eat up, Houston!