The James Beard Foundation, the nation’s leading culinary institution, sent a few love letters to Texas in its list of finalists in various award categories announced today.
In the Restaurant and Chef Awards, three Texas chefs and one cocktail program were left standing after the first round of voting. (Twenty had made the semifinals.) Anvil Bar & Refuge in Houston is a finalist for Outstanding Bar Program, and Texas chefs Michael Fojtasek of Olamaie in Austin, Bryce Gilmore of Barley Swine and Odd Duck in Austin, and Steve McHugh of Cured in San Antonio all have a chance for Best Chef: Southwest. Sadly, our beloved pitmaster, Tootsie Tomanetz, of Snow’s BBQ in Lexington, did not make the cut.
The remaining two chefs in the Southwest competition are from other states: Martin Rios of Restaurant Martin in Santa Fe, N.M., and Alex Seidel of Mercantile Dining & Provision in Denver.
In the Best Restaurant Design or Renovation category, Austin restaurant Otoko is up for the prize for restaurants with under 76 seats. Winners for all the restaurant-related categories will be announced at the James Beard awards gala in Chicago on May 7.
Texas also showed well in Media Awards nominations. In the Television Segment category, Dallas station WFAA-TV got a nod for its program Verify, with host David Schechter.
And, ahem, Texas Monthly got a nod in the Foodways category for its hilarious illustrated feature “Chili at the Fifty” by Matt Diffee, about the history of the Terlingua Chili Cookoff. Media winners will be announced on April 27 at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City.
To see all the James Beard nominees, go here.