Check Out the 22 Arizona Chefs and Restaurants That Are Nominated for James Beard Awards This Year

M.V. MoorheadFebruary 28, 2020
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If they weren’t over already, the days of Arizona being remotely regarded as a culinary backwater are demonstrably in the past. Or should be, at least. Don’t believe me? Check out the semifinalists for this year’s James Beard Awards. There’s at least one Arizona nominee in every delicious category (not counting the regional categories, obviously).

Check them out, then make reservations:

Best New Restaurant:
Vecina, Phoenix

Outstanding Baker:
Don Guerra; Barrio Bread, Tucson

Outstanding Bar Program:
Little Rituals, Phoenix

Outstanding Chef:
Nobuo Fukuda; Nobuo at Teeter House, Phoenix

Outstanding Hospitality:
Kai, Phoenix

Outstanding Pastry Chef:
Country Velador; Super Chunk Sweets & Treats, Scottsdale

Outstanding Restaurant:
Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix

Outstanding Restaurateur:
Mike Mastro and Jeff Mastro; Prime Steak Concepts, Scottsdale (Dominick’s  Steakhouse, Steak 44, Ocean 44)

Outstanding Wine Program:
FnB, Scottsdale

Outstanding Wine, Spirits and Beer Producer:
Amanda and Stephen Paul; Whiskey del Bac, Tucson

Rising Star Chef of the Year:
Cassie Shortino; Tratto, Phoenix

Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, NM, NV, OK):
Stephen Jones; The Larder + Delta, Phoenix

Bernie Kantak; Citizen Public House, Scottsdale

Shinji Kurita, Shinbay Omakase Room, Scottsdale

Danielle Leoni; The Breadfruit & Rum Bar, Phoenix

Maria Mazon; BOCA Tacos y Tequila, Tucson

Chrysa Robertson; Rancho Pinot, Scottsdale

Silvana Salcido Esparza; Barrio Café Gran Reserva, Phoenix

Samantha Sanz; Talavera, Scottsdale

Jeff Smedstad, Elote Café, Sedona

Ryan Swanson, Kai, Gila River Indian Community, Chandler

The full list of semifinalists can be found at jamesbeard.org. The James Beard Awards Gala will be at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on Monday, May 4.

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