These are Colorado chefs and restaurants named 2023 James Beard semifinalists

The James Beard Foundation released its list of 2023 restaurant and chef award semifinalists today. Considered the Oscars of the food world, the awards honor chefs, restaurants, bar and wine programs, beer and spirits producers and more players on the national food scene.

Colorado snagged 13 nominations this year for what’s widely regarded as one of the most prestigious honors in the hospitality industry, including in categories such as “outstanding restaurateur,” “outstanding chef” and “best new restaurant.” Five of the 20 chefs nominated as the best in the Mountain Region — which includes Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming — are from the Centennial State. The finalists will be announced in March.

Here’s the list of the Colorado semifinalists, who have a chance to make it to the final round of nominees before the annual James Beard Awards Gala in June in Chicago:

Outstanding Restaurateur

Kelly Whitaker, Id Est Hospitality Group (Basta, The Wolf’s Tailor, BRUTØ), Boulder, CO

Outstanding Chef

Josh Niernberg, Bin 707 Foodbar, Grand Junction, CO

Dana Rodriguez, Super Mega Bien, Denver, CO

Emerging Chef

Bo Porytko, Misfit SnackBar, Denver, CO

Best New Restaurant

The Friar’s Fork, Alamosa, CO

Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker

Ismael de Sousa, Reunion Bread Co, Denver, CO

Outstanding Hospitality

Pêche., Palisade, CO

Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program

Sunday Vinyl, Denver, CO

Best Chef: Mountain (CO, ID, MT, UT, WY)

Jose Avila, La Diabla Pozole y Mezcal, Denver, CO
Michael Diaz de Leon, BRUTØ, Denver, CO
C. Barclay Dodge, Bosq, Aspen, CO
Cindhura Reddy, Spuntino, Denver, CO
Penelope Wong, Yuan Wonton, Denver, CO

Last year, six Colorado restaurants and chefs advanced as finalists for the James Beard Foundation’s prestigious Restaurant and Chef Awards. And ultimately, chef and Annette co-owner Caroline Glover was awarded the title of Best Chef in the Mountain Region.

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