<p>At Odessa’s relatively new Wokcano, expect pleasant, garden-variety sushi, which the chefs take great pride in preparing and plating. Hibachi meals and traditional appetizers are also offered, and the friendly staff manage to stay on the ball despite the busy lunch rush. (6/15)</p>

Tyson Cole, who is the force behind the two most innovative Japanese-fusion restaurants in Texas right now, tied for the title of Best Chef Southwest at the James Beard Foundation awards gala in New York City last night. (His co-winner was Saipin Chutima of Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas. ) In his acceptance speech, Cole noted that he was wearing his lucky socks.  Funny, we thought that a chef would have lucky clogs.  If you haven’t been to either of his two utterly amazing restaurants, both in Austin and soon to be augmented with another in Houston, read about them here, where we named Uchiko the best new restaurant in Texas, in February 2011. He was the only Texas chef to win a  Beard award this year, although Bruce Auden, of Biga on the Banks in San Antonio, was also nominated in the Southwest category. The Beard awards are generally considered the Oscars of the restaurant world. Here’s a complete rundown (winners are noted by an asterisk; semifinalists included too). Be warned, the list goes on f-o-r-e-v-e-r. But if you want to know where to eat the next time you’re visiting any of these cities, it’s invaluable. (Good luck getting a reservation now.) OUTSTANDING CHEF * José Andrés, minibar by José Andrés, Washington, D.C. Gary Danko, Restaurant Gary Danko, San Francisco Suzanne Goin, Lucques, Los Angeles Paul Kahan, Blackbird, Chicago Charles Phan, The Slanted Door, San Francisco BEST NEW RESTAURANT * ABC Kitchen, NYC Benu, San Francisco Girl & the Goat, Chicago Menton, Boston Torrisi Italian Specialties, NYC OUTSTANDING RESTAURATEUR Bruce Bromberg and Eric Bromberg Tom Douglas Pat Kuleto * Richard Melman Phil Suarez OUTSTANDING RESTAURANT Blue Hill, NYC Boulevard, San Francisco * Eleven Madison Park, NYC Highlands Bar and Grill, Birmingham, AL Vetri, Philadelphia RISING STAR CHEF OF THE YEAR Aaron London, Ubuntu, Napa, CA Thomas McNaughton, flour + water, San Francisco * Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon, Portland, OR Christina Tosi, Momofuku Milk Bar, NYC Sue Zemanick, Gautreau’s, New Orleans OUTSTANDING PASTRY CHEF Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery + Café, Boston Patrick Fahy, Blackbird, Chicago Dahlia Narvaez, Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles * Angela Pinkerton, Eleven Madison Park, NYC Mindy Segal, Mindy’s HotChocolate Restaurant and Dessert Bar, Chicago OUTSTANDING WINE SERVICE A16, San Francisco, Shelley Lindgren Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN, Andy Chabot Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder, CO, Bobby Stuckey * The Modern, NYC, Belinda Chang Picasso at Bellagio, Las Vegas, Robert Smith BEST CHEF: GREAT LAKES Michael Carlson, Schwa, Chicago Curtis Duffy, Avenues at the Peninsula, Chicago Bruce Sherman, North Pond, Chicago Paul Virant, Vie, Western Springs, IL * Alex Young, Zingerman’s Roadhouse, Ann Arbor, MI BEST CHEF: MID-ATLANTIC Cathal Armstrong, Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, VA Johnny Monis, Komi, Washington, D.C. Peter Pastan, Obelisk, Washington, D.C. Maricel Presilla, Cucharamama, Hoboken, NJ * Michael Solomonov, Zahav, Philadelphia BEST CHEF: MIDWEST Justin Aprahamian, Sanford, Milwaukee * Isaac Becker, 112 Eatery, Minneapolis Colby Garrelts, Bluestem, Kansas City, MO Tory Miller, L’Etoile, Madison, WI Lenny Russo, Heartland, St. Paul, MN BEST CHEF: NEW YORK CITY Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern April Bloomfield, The Spotted Pig Wylie Dufresne, wd~50 * Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune Michael White, Marea BEST CHEF: NORTHEAST Tim Cushman, o ya, Boston Krista Kern Desjarlais, Bresca, Portland, ME Gerry Hayden, The North Fork Table & Inn, Southold, NY Matt Jennings, La Laiterie, Providence * Tony Maws, Craigie On Main, Cambridge, MA Eric Warnstedt, Hen of the Wood, Waterbury, VT BEST CHEF: PACIFIC Michael Cimarusti, Providence, Los Angeles Christopher Kostow, The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, CA Daniel Patterson, COI, San Francisco Richard Reddington, Redd, Yountville, CA * Michael Tusk, Quince, San Francisco BEST CHEF: NORTHWEST Matt Dillon, Sitka & Spruce, Seattle Christopher Israel, Grüner, Portland, OR * Andy Ricker, Pok Pok, Portland, OR Ethan Stowell, Staple & Fancy, Mercantile, Seattle Cathy Whims, Nostrana, Portland, OR BEST CHEF: SOUTH Zach Bell, Café Boulud, Palm Beach, FL John Harris, Lilette, New Orleans Chris Hastings, Hot and Hot Fish Club, Birmingham, AL Tory McPhail, Commander’s Palace, New Orleans * Stephen Stryjewski, Cochon, New Orleans BEST CHEF: SOUTHEAST Hugh Acheson, Five and Ten, Athens, GA Craig Deihl, Cypress, Charleston, SC John Fleer, Canyon Kitchen at Lonesome Valley, Cashiers, NC Linton Hopkins, Restaurant Eugene, Atlanta Edward Lee, 610 Magnolia, Louisville, KY * Andrea Reusing, Lantern, Chapel Hill, NC BEST CHEF: SOUTHWEST Bruce Auden, Biga on the Banks, San Antonio Bryan Caswell, Reef, Houston * Saipin Chutima, Lotus of Siam, Las Vegas (tie) * Tyson Cole, Uchi, Austin, TX (tie) Ryan Hardy, Montagna at the Little Nell, Aspen, CO OUTSTANDING SERVICE Canlis, Seattle Emeril’s, New Orleans La Grenouille, NYC * Per Se, NYC Topolobampo, Chicago OUTSTANDING WINE AND SPIRITS PROFESSIONAL Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE Merry Edwards, Merry Edwards Winery, Sebastopol, CA Paul Grieco, Hearth and Terroir, NYC Rajat Parr, Mina Group, San Francisco * Julian Van Winkle III, Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, Louisville, KY OUTSTANDING RESTAURANT DESIGN * Design Firm: Aidlin Darling Design Designers: Joshua Aidlin, Roslyn Cole, and David Darling Project: Bar Agricole, San Francisco Design Firm: Bestor Architecture Designers: Barbara Bestor, John Colter, and Cathy Johnson Project: Pitfire Pizza, Los Angeles Design Firm: Natoma Architects Inc. Designer: Stanley Saitowitz Project: Toast, Novato, CA OUTSTANDING RESTAURANT GRAPHICS For the best restaurant graphics executed in North America since January 1, 2008 Design Firm: Katie Barcelona Designer: Katie Barcelona Project: L’Artusi, NYC * Design Firm: Love and War Designer: Katie Tully Project: The National Bar & Dining Rooms, NYC Design Firm: JNL Graphic Design Designers: Donald Madia and Jason Pickleman Project: The Publican, Chicago