Austin has had a banner year in the lead-up to the James Beard Awards: Launderette, headed by Rene Ortiz, is one of five finalists for Best New Restaurant. Grae Nonas, co-chef of Olamaie, is in the running for Rising Star Chef of the Year (given to a chef 30 years of age or younger). The names were announced March 15.

In the southwest regional competition, Texans snagged four of five finalist slots. The Lone Star nominees are Bryce Gilmore of Barley Swine in Austin, Steve McHugh of Cured in San Antonio, Hugo Ortega of Caracol in Houston, and Justin Yu of Oxheart in Houston.

The winners will be announced at the James Beard awards gala on Monday, May 2, at Lyric Opera of Chicago. The ceremony will be hosted by celebrity chef Carla Hall.

Check out our restaurant reviews and profiles of the finalists: