The nominations for the James Beard Foundation Awards were just announced, and Dallas: You're looking pretty good. Seven chefs and restaurants have been named as some of the country's best for service, food and bar and wine programs.
Last year I called the list of nominees a total snooze as far as Dallas is concerned. This year things have changed considerably.
Previous nominees included Stephan Pyles, Bruno Davaillon and Teiichi Sakurai. Sakurai has been nominated again, but this year he's joined by Jason Maddy from Oak. (Davaillon was not nominated this year.)
I think this is a good sign for Dallas' food scene, as Maddy represents the new chefs who are helping sculpt Dallas' rapidly evolving food scene. I'm surprised that Lucia's David Uygur wasn't mentioned, as I think he really deserves the attention, but I'm happy to see some other new restaurants get a nod.
Cedars Social has been nominated for Best Bar Program, giving weight to the claim that Dallas' cocktail culture is indeed blossoming. And Nick Badovinus, who runs the Neighborhood Services group (and puts out the burger you see above, at Off-Site Kitchen), eared a much deserved nomination for best restaurateur. This is exciting news for Dallas.
Here are the rest of the local nominations:
Outstanding Bar Program The Cedars Social
Outstanding Chef Stephan Pyles, Stephan Pyles Restaurant,
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Outstanding Restaurateur Nick Badovinus
Outstanding Service The French Room
Oustanding Wine Program Cafe on the Green
Best Chef Southwest Jason Maddy, Oak Teiichi Sakurai, Tei-An