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2024 James Beard Award semi-finalists from North Texas

The semi-finalists for the 2024 James Beard Awards were announced on Jan. 24.

FTW-Vaqueros Texas Bar-B-Q

Chef Arnulfo Sánchez III was nominated for Best Chef: Texas for his dishes at Vaqueros Texas Bar-B-Q in Grapevine. | Photo by @vaquerostxbbq

Roll out the red carpet, food lovers (and watch the crumbs). On Jan. 24, the semifinalists were announced for the 2024 James Beard Awards — one of the culinary world’s most prestigious prizes — and North Texas stars are shining bright.

You’ll find eight local chefs up for awards based on excellence and other factors like commitment to the community. But it’s an honor just to be nominated — getting on the James Beard radar is a game changer for any chef or restaurant, no matter how long they’ve been around.

Mark your calendars for April 3, when the finalists will be announced. A June 10 ceremony in Chicago will reveal the winners. Here’s the local flavor.

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La Casita Bakeshop was also featured on Food Network’s “Halloween Baking Championship” in 2022. | Photo by @lacasitabakeshop

🏆 2024 semi-finalists

David Uygur | Dallas | Nominated for: Outstanding Chef | Lucia is chef David Uygur’s brainchild with Italian-inspired dishes with top-tier flavors. The menu features house-made pasta and charcuterie, plus grilled or braised entrées and mouthwatering desserts.

La Casita Bakeshop | Richardson | Nominated for: Outstanding Bakery | Owned by Maricsa Trejo, the bakery sells its creations to over 175 local restaurants and coffee shops + features a rotating in-store menu. In 2022, Trejo was nominated for her first James Beard Award and was a semi-finalist for Outstanding Baker.

Gemma | Dallas | Nominated for: Outstanding Hospitality | Owned by husband-wife team Stephen Rogers and Allison Yoder, the restaurant underwent a major transformation in 2023 to create a cozy neighborhood bistro in a chic, more intimate space on Henderson Avenue. The menu features house-made pasta, diverse seafood dishes, and classic French staples.

Several chefs in North Texas were also nominated in the category Best Chef: Texas including:

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Who’s up for a luxurious evening at a James Beard Award-nominated restaurant?

🍽️ Past finalists to visit

Don Artemio Mexican Heritage, 3268 W. 7th St. | Run by chef Juan Ramón Cárdenas, the Cultural District eatery serves authentic flavors of northwest Mexico and was nominated as the top 10 finalists in the best new restaurant category in 2023.

Goldee’s Barbecue, 4645 Dick Price Rd. | The three pitmasters who co-own the barbecue joint — Jalen Heard, Lane Milne, and Jonny White — were nominated for Best Chef: Texas. In 2021, the restaurant was crowned the No. 1 spot for barbecue in Texas by Texas Monthly magazine.

🔮 Who’s going next?

Now we want to hear about your tastes. Are there restaurants or local chefs you think deserve some more love? Send us an email, and let us know about the unrecognized award-worthy meals.

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