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Yet Again, Zero Dallas Chefs and Restaurants Are James Beard Award Finalists

For the third year in a row

James Beard Award
Amy McCarthy is a staff writer at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

On May 4, the James Beard Foundation announced the finalists for its annual James Beard Awards, frequently described as the “Oscars of food.”

Originally set for March 25, the Foundation delayed the announcement of this year’s finalists more than a month due to the coronavirus pandemic. In the virtual press conference, the Foundation announced that this year’s restaurant winners will be announced at a ceremony on September 25. More details are set to follow in the coming weeks.

Sadly, none of the Dallas chefs or restaurants nominated for national awards made the list of finalists. When the list of semifinalists was announced back in February, five DFW chefs and restaurants were up for national awards, including Oak Cliff ramen spot Salaryman in the Best New Restaurant category and Fort Worth chef Bria Downey for Rising Star Chef of the Year.

The city also had four nominees for the brand new Best Chef: Texas category, including Revolver Taco Lounge owner Regino Rojas and Khao Noodle Shop’s Donny Sirisavath. Sadly, none of those chefs made it through to the round of finalists, either. That list includes San Antonio chef Steve McHugh, Houston’s Anita Jaisinghani and Trong Nguyen, and Michael Fojtasek of Olamaie and Kevin Fink of Emmer & Rye in Austin.

For the third year in a row, the James Beard Foundation completely shut out Dallas, and that’s a real bummer considering how incredible the city’s restaurant scene was before coronavirus hit, and continues to be.