Today the James Beard Foundation released its list of semifinalists for the 2023 Restaurant and Chef Awards. Overall, nine Miami-based restaurants, bars, and chefs made the cut.
The annual award ceremony — which many call the Oscars of the culinary world — was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The organization also completed an internal audit in 2021 in an attempt to overhaul its policies and procedures to be more inclusive and transparent in how nominees were decided upon following years of accusations of racism, sexism, and scandals surrounding many of those who’ve been nominated in years past. The voting process has also undergone a transformation, aiming to be more inclusive. Prior winners (i.e., typically a group that skews male and white) are no longer automatically included in the voting body, and the voting body has expanded beyond traditional food media. The goal is to have 50 percent of committee members and judges be people of color in the 2023 awards.
Below is a list of semifinalists this year in Miami and throughout the state of Florida. Finalists will be announced on Wednesday, March 29, and the winner's gala will be Monday, June 5, in Chicago. Check out the full list of semifinalists below.
2023 James Beard Awards: Restaurant and Chef Semifinalists
Mohamed Ali Alkassar and Niven Patel, Alpareno Restaurant Group (Ghee Indian Kitchen, Orno, and Mamey), Miami, FL
Jimmy and Johnny Tung, Bento Asian Kitchen + Sushi, Doshi, and Camille, Orlando, FL
Michael Schwartz, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Miami, FL
Ariete, Miami, FL
Akino West, Rosie’s, Miami, FL
Zak the Baker, Miami, FL
Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker
Manuel and Jesús Brazón, Caracas Bakery, Doral, FL
Outstanding Wine Program
Macchialina, Miami Beach, FL
Cafe La Trova, Miami, FL
Best Chef: South (AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, PR)
Timon Balloo, The Katherine, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Jeremy and Cindy Bearman, Oceano Kitchen, Lantana, FL
Fernando, Nando, and Valerie Chang, Itamae, Miami, FL
Rick Mace, Tropical Smokehouse, West Palm Beach, FL
Pushkar Marathe, Stage, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Henry Moso, Kabooki Sushi, Orlando, FL
Lojo Washington, Queen of Sheeba, West Palm Beach, FL