Hey! Texas didn't do badly at all in the semifinalists lineup for the Oscars of the culinary world, the James Beard Foundation Awards. The list was announced this morning. There are two more voting rounds to go before the winners are announced at a gala at Lincoln Center in New York on May 9. Here's the list of Texans:
Best New Restaurant semifinalists: Bootsie's Heritage Cafe in Tomball; Uchiko in Austin. Outstanding Chef semifinalists: Robert Del Grande of RDG + Bar Annie in Houston; Stephan Pyles of Stephan Pyles in Dallas. Outstanding Pastry Chef semifinalist: Philip Speer of Uchiko in Austin. Outstanding Restaurant semifinalist: The Mansion Restaurant at the Rosewood Mansion hotel on Turtle Creek in Dallas. Outstanding Restaurateur semifinalist: Michael Cordua of Cordua Restaurants in Houston. Outstanding Service semifinalist: The French Room at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas. Outstanding Wine Service semifinalist: Cafe on the Green at the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Irving, James Tidwell, sommelier. Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional semifinalist: Tito Beveridge of Tito's Handmade Vodka in Austin; Bobby Heugel of Anvil Bar & Refuge in Houston. Rising Star Chef of the Year semifinalist: Paul Qui of Uchiko in Austin. Best Chef Southwest semifinalists: Bruce Auden of Biga on the Banks in San Antonio; Bryan Caswell of Reef in Houston; Tyson Cole of Uchi in Austin; Armando Pomales of Cafe Central in El Paso; Randy Rucker of Bootsie's Heritage Cafe in Tomball; and Reiichi Sakurai of Tei-An in Dallas. Congrats and good luck to all. If you would like to see the whole national list, go to jamesbeard.org (note: the website was down when I checked a minute ago; I imagine it is flooded but will be back up soon).
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