Today, the James Beard Foundation announced the semifinalists for its annual awards, frequently described as the “Oscars of food,” and only one Dallas chef made the long list.
Revolver Taco Lounge’s Regino Rojas is Dallas’ lone entry in this year’s list of semifinalists for a 2018 James Beard Award, according to a press release. That’s a significant decline from last year, when six Dallas chefs and restaurants were announced as semifinalists. Semifinalist list stalwarts like FT33’s Matt McCallister and Lucia’s David Uygur, did not make the 2018 cut.
It’s exciting news for Rojas, though, who brought his inventive tacos, crudos, and more to Deep Ellum in 2017. Originally opened in Fort Worth before making its way to Dallas, Revolver Taco Lounge is also home to a back-room restaurant that serves some of the city’s most exciting Mexican cuisine in a subdued, laid-back space. Both that restaurant and Revolver’s menu have racked up accolades from local critics, and national food critics and writers are clearly beginning to notice its uniqueness.
Rojas still has a few more hurdles to clear before taking home the coveted James Beard medal. The list of semifinalists will be whittled down to a group of final contenders on March 14 during a live-streamed press conference in Philadelphia. The actual James Beard Awards are set for May 7 in Chicago.