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Flora Street Cafe & John Tesar Are Among This Year’s James Beard Award Semi-Finalists

Will a Dallas restaurant or chef actually win this year?

Will Flora Street win Best New Restaurant?
James Wilson
Amy McCarthy is a staff writer at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

Every year, the James Beard Awards recognize restaurant excellence across the country, and Dallas has long felt a bit left out of the party. But perhaps this year’s list of Dallas-based nominees will have their chance at culinary glory when the 2017 awards are handed out later this year.

Announced via release, the James Beard Foundation has announced its long list of semi-finalists, and a number of Dallas chefs and restaurants have made the cut. In the Best New Restaurant category, Chef Stephan Pyles’ showy and splashy Flora Street Cafe has been named as a semi-finalist, the only Dallas restaurant on the list.

Returning to the list of semifinalists for Best Chef in the Southwest are Casa Rubia’s Omar Flores, Tei-An’s Teiichi Sakurai, and Lucia’s David Uygur. Returning to this year’s list is Top Chef contestant Chef John Tesar, who’s been nominated for the Beard a number of times to the past.

Surprisingly, FT33’s Matt McCallister was not among this year’s semifinalists, but the restaurant’s pastry chef, Maggie Huff, is up for the Outstanding Pastry Chef medal, a well-deserved nomination.

Scope out the full list of semi-finalists below. Finalists for the 2017 James Beard Awards will be announced March 17, and the awards ceremony will be hosted in Chicago on May 1.

Best New Restaurant

Flora Street Cafe, Stephan Pyles

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Maggie Huff, FT33

Best Chef - Southwest

Omar Flores, Casa Rubia

Teiichi Sakurai, Tei-An Soba House, Dallas

John Tesar, Knife, Dallas

David Uygur, Lucia, Dallas