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Austin-area chef and restaurant named finalists in the James Beard Awards

Two of the area's nine semifinalists advanced to finalist status.

AUSTIN, Texas — (CultureMap Austin) The James Beard Awards are heating up, and Austin is along for the ride — albeit in small numbers. (We're doing much better than last year.) Two of the area’s nine semifinalists advanced to finalist status.

Considered the Oscars of the food world, the James Beard Foundation announced the finalists for its Restaurant and Chef Awards on April 3. Here are all of the Texas nominees in the national categories:

  • Best New Restaurant: Barbs-B-Q (Lockhart)
  • Outstanding Bar: Las Ramblas (Brownsville)
  • Outstanding Hospitality: Gemma (Dallas)
  • Outstanding Restaurant: Mixtli (San Antonio)
  • Outstanding Restaurant: Convenience West (Marfa)
  • Outstanding Chef: David Uygur, Lucia (Dallas)

Austin's four semifinalist nominees in the national categories were Ramen Del Barrio and Barbs-B-Q for Best New Restaurant, Mariela Camacho of Comadre Panadería for Outstanding Pastry Chef, and Bufalina for Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program.

The foundation also announced the finalists for Best Chef: Texas. Of Austin’s five semifinalists, only one, Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel of Birdie’s, earned finalist status. Even if Malechek Ezekiel just stays in this round, she's swimming in other recent achievements; on April 2, Food & Wine ranked Birdie's the No. 4 best restaurant in the country, and on April 11, the chef will be featured at CultureMap's Tastemaker Awards celebration for her Chef of the Year nomination.

Best Chef Texas:

  • Emmanuel Chavez, Tatemó (Houston)
  • Christopher Cullum, Cullum’s Attaboy (San Antonio)
  • Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel, Birdie’s (Austin)
  • Misti Norris, Petra & the Beast (Dallas)
  • Ana Liz Pulido, Ana Liz Taqueria (Mission)

For the full story, visit CultureMap.

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