Published: Fri, February 17, 2017
Finance | By Laverne Griffith

Houston Kicks Ass With Nine James Beard Semifinalist Nods

Houston Kicks Ass With Nine James Beard Semifinalist Nods

This morning, the James Beard Foundation released its list of 2017 James Beard Award semifinalists, which are widely regarded as the most coveted culinary awards in the U.S.

This is the fifth time that Silvana Salcido Esparza has made the list for the Best Chef: Southwest award, which recognizes "chefs who have set new or consistent standards of excellence in their respective regions".

No one was more surprised than Chizuko Fukuyoshi, who opened the restaurant with her husband Shigeru more than 40 years ago after moving here from Japan.

Casey Renee of Whitfield at the Ace Hotel in East Liberty is nominated in the category of outstanding pastry chef.

Miami's most beloved bread maker, Zak Stern, AKA Zak the Baker, has received a nod for the Outstanding Baker award and Stephen Starr (Upland, Le Zoo, the Continental, Makoto, and Steak 954) was nominated for Outstanding Restaurateur.

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Last year, an African-American dishwasher admitted to breaking a stained-glass window that depicted slaves picking cotton. The president said changing the college's name to honor Hopper was a popular suggestion.

The James Beard Foundation just announced the semifinalist results for their 2017 restaurant and chef award categories.

Among the semifinalists are five ME chefs nominated in the Best Chef: Northeast category. The organization will announce the final restaurant and chef award nominees, along with media and restaurant design nominations, on Wednesday, March 15, in Los Angeles.

Also recognized as a semifinalist in this category a year ago, Bluestem received a major renovation in 2014.It continues to receive kudos as "a national standard bearer of consistent quality and excellence in food, atmosphere and service", with executive chef Andrew Longres recently promoted to run the kitchen. The complete list of semifinalists can be found online.

The highly anticipated James Beard Awards ceremony and gala reception will follow on Monday, May 1, 2016, at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

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