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15 Impressive Dallas-Fort Worth Restaurants and Chefs Named James Beard Semifinalists

Dallas chefs and restaurants made an impressive showing on the 2023 James Beard semifinalist list. This annual awards series names America’s best culinary minds.

Of particular interest to North Texans is the Best New Restaurant category, in which three of the 30 entries come from Dallas-Fort Worth. These three semifinalists of the Best New Restaurant represent three types of cuisine in three neighborhoods:

  • Omakase restaurant Tatsu in Deep Ellum is one of the smallest and most reverent restaurants in Dallas.
  • Contemporary Cajun restaurant beatrice in Oak Cliff offers a more elegant swing to a restaurant chef Michelle Carpenter named after her Mammaw.
  • And contemporary Mexican restaurant Don Artemis is a cute but homey place that brings the flavors of Saltillo, Mexico to a thriving area of ​​Fort Worth.

These are just three of the many 2023 semifinalist proposals, proving that Dallas can be competitive not only with the Texas cities of Austin and Houston, but also with larger food cities like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Other 2023 James Beard Semifinalists from North Texas

Junior Borges, the chef who created the Brazilian-American restaurant Meridian in Dallas, was named by North Texan in the Outstanding Chef category. (The only other Texans on the list are Christine Ha and Tony J. Nguyen of Xin Chào in Houston.)

Maricsa Trejo, who just opened a new La Casita bakery in Richardson, has been mesmerizing Texans for years with her cakes.(Juan Figueroa / Personal photographer)
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Among the semi-finalists for Outstanding Restaurant, Italian Restaurant Lucia in Dallas it was named Oak Cliff. It’s been open for over a decade and once received a rare five-star review The Dallas Morning News.

Two Dallas bakeries were chosen for Outstanding Bakery: La Casita Bakeshop in Richardson and Kuluntu Bakery in Dallas La Casita has become “one of the biggest bakeries in D-FW,” our Claire Ballor noted in a story last week. None of our pastry chefs were specifically cited in a separate category, Outstanding Pastry Chef or Bakery, although chefs from Comadre Panadería in Austin and Bakery Lorraine in San Antonio were named.

La Casita has become one of the biggest bakeries in D-FW, and it’s just getting started

And in the Best Chef: Texas category, 8 North Texans from 5 restaurants received semifinalist nominations:

It should be noted that three of these eight chefs are women. And three are pit masters at a small but mighty barbecue joint just outside of Fort Worth, Goldee’s.

The semifinalists for Top Chef: Texas are:

Olivia Lopez was sous chef at Billy Can Can Saloon in Dallas before breaking away to do…
Olivia Lopez was sous chef at the Billy Can Can Saloon in Dallas before leaving to make heirloom corn dough for herself.(Ben Torres / Special Contributor)
  • Reyna Duong from Sandwich Hag. This Vietnamese sandwich shop in the Cedars neighborhood of Dallas serves delicious bánh mì.
  • Jalen Heard, Lane Milne and Jonny White at Goldee’s Barbecue. Drive into Fort Worth, down a winding road until you don’t think there could be a barbecue restaurant ahead, and there’s Goldee’s, an excellent place that Texas Monthly Consider it the #1 BBQ in Texas right now.
  • Olivia López and Jonathan Percival from Molino Olōyō. These chefs make tortillas that look and taste like “thin slices of real sun,” reports our Nick Rallo. The business currently operates as a pop-up.
  • Anastacia Quiñones-Pittman de José. His colorful restaurant in Dallas’ Bluffview neighborhood is regularly praised for its attentive service and beautiful food.
  • Regino Rojas from Revolver Taco Lounge. No stranger to the James Beard Awards, Rojas has been a three-time semifinalist for Best Chef. His restaurant in Deep Ellum, Dallas, has been featured on many TV shows, including the new one Chronicles of tacos on Netflix.
I’m saying it: This Fort Worth joint is the best new barbecue joint in North Texas

No Dallas-Fort Worth chefs were named to the Outstanding Restaurateurs or Emerging Chefs lists, and no North Texas restaurants made the Outstanding Hospitality, Outstanding Bar or Outstanding Wines and Other Beverages lists. The only Texan chosen was Chris Williams, founder of Lucille’s Fine Southern Foods in Houston.

Find the full list of James Beard semifinalists here.

This first round of announcements are the foundation semifinalists, which is a starting list of who could win. The next round will be announced on March 29, 2023: the nominees. The winners are then announced at a ceremony in Chicago on June 5, 2023. The list will be narrowed with each announcement.