Restaurant News

Here Are Houston's James Beard Award Semifinalists

No surprise here: Tracy Vaught and Hugo Ortega both receive semifinalist nods from the Beard Foundation.
No surprise here: Tracy Vaught and Hugo Ortega both receive semifinalist nods from the Beard Foundation. Photo by Chuck Cook Photography

The James Beard Foundation has just released its list of semifinalists for 2017, and a handful of Houston chefs, along with a beloved restaurateur, restaurant and bar program,  have all received some major love.

Cocktail bar Anvil and chef Hugo Ortega have previously been named finalists five times in their respective categories, so maybe, just maybe, this is their year to win.  But you'll have to wait to find out. The 2017 Beard Award finalists will be announced on March 15, and winners will be presented with their awards at a gala on May 1 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Congrats are in order for these Houston semifinalists.

Semifinalists for Best Chef: Southwest
Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan, The Pass & Provisions,
Jianyun Ye, Mala Sichuan
Manabu Horiuchi, Kata Robata
Anita Jaisinghani, Pondicheri
Hugo Ortega, Hugo's


Outstanding Bar Program
Anvil

Oustanding Restaurateur
Tracy Vaught, Hugo's, Caracol, Backstreet Cafe, Xochi

Outstanding Service
Hugo's

Rising Star Chef of the Year
William Wright, Helen Greek Food




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Gwendolyn Knapp is the food editor at the Houston Press. A sixth-generation Floridian, she is still torn as to whether she likes smoked fish dip or queso better.