Two names very familiar with James Beard Awards voters have again earned semifinalist nods. Barley Swine and Odd Duck chef-owner Bryce Gilmore has been named a semifinalist for Best Chef Southwest for the fifth consecutive year. Barley Swine, his original restaurant, earned the #1 ranking in the Austin360 Dining Guide in 2016 and in 2013, and Odd Duck also took at Top 10 spot last year (#4).
Laura Sawicki, executive pastry chef and partner at Launderette and Fresa’s, earned her third semifinalist nomination for Best Pastry Chef in America. She also garnered that recognition last year and in 2013 while at La Condesa, which she helped open with chef-partner Rene Ortiz.
Those two nods are the only received by Austin chefs or restaurants this year. Finalists will be announced on March 15, with the awards taking place in Chicago on May 1. Below are the other chefs nominated for Best Chef Southwest, an honor that has been awarded to Tyson Cole of Uchi (2011), Paul Qui (while at Uchiko in 2012) and Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue (2015).
Charleen Badman, FnB, Scottsdale, AZ
Jen Castle and Blake Spalding, Hell’s Backbone Grill, Boulder, UT
Silvana Salcido Esparza, Barrio Urbano, Phoenix
Omar Flores, Casa Rubia, Dallas
Bryce Gilmore, Barley Swine, Austin
Manabu Horiuchi, Kata Robata, Houston
Anita Jaisinghani, Pondicheri, Houston
Steve McHugh, Cured, San Antonio
Hugo Ortega, Hugo’s, Houston
Jonathan Perno, Los Poblanos, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM
Steve Redzikowski, Acorn, Denver
Martín Rios, Restaurant Martín, Santa Fe
Teiichi Sakurai, Tei-An Soba House, Dallas
Alex Seidel, Mercantile, Denver
Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan, The Pass, Houston
Eric Skokan, Black Cat, Boulder, CO
Jeff Smedstad, Elote Cafe, Sedona, AZ
John Tesar, Knife, Dallas
David Uygur, Lucia, Dallas
Jianyun Ye, Mala Sichuan Bistro, Houston