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Five Dallas Chefs Are Semifinalists For The 2016 James Beard Awards

Will this be the year that the Dallas culinary scene finally gets its due?

Is 2016 Chef Matt McCallister's year?
Is 2016 Chef Matt McCallister's year?
Margo Sivin/Eater Dallas
Amy McCarthy is a reporter at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

Every year, the James Beard Awards recognize culinary excellence across the country, and Dallas has long felt a bit left out of the party. Sure, the city has plenty of James Beard Award winners within its culinary community, but in recent years, some would argue that the New York-based foundation has ignored the massive strides made in Dallas’ vibrant culinary scene.

Whether or not that will be the case this year remains to be seen. Today, the James Beard Foundation announced their list of semi-finalists for its 2016 Chef and Restaurant Awards, and five Dallas chefs have made the cut.

Perhaps most excitingly, Small Brewpub chef Misti Norris is up for the Beard Foundation’s Rising Star of the Year, which highlights the country’s brightest up-and-coming chefs. This is Norris’ first James Beard nomination, but if you’ve been to Small Brewpub lately, you know it’s probably not going to be her last.

In the Best Chef Southwest category, FT33’s Matt McCallister, Lucia’s David Uygur, Casa Rubia’s Omar Flores, and Tei-An’s Teiichi Sakurai all received nods. Each of these chefs have been nominated for the award before, but have yet to win. Perhaps this is their year.

Also nominated is the Four Seasons Resort & Club at Las Colinas for Outstanding Wine Program. Sommelier James Tidwell’s wine program here has a semi-finalist for a Beard award four times.

The James Beard Foundation will whittle down their list of finalists on Tuesday, March 15, and the actual awards won’t be held until Monday, May 2.