The James Beard Foundation announced its 2015 chef and restaurant semifinalists this morning and we're happy to see several Houstonians in the mix.
In the running for Best Chef: Southwest are Hugo Ortega (Hugo's, Backstreet, Caracol) with his fourth nod; Justin Yu (Oxheart), a 2014 semifinalist and 2013 Rising Star nominee; and first-timers Terrence Gallivan and Seth Siegel-Gardner for the Pass half of their two-concept restaurant, Pass and Provisions. We're hoping Houston will get a repeat win in the category: chef Chris Shepherd (Underbelly) took home the coveted award last year, making him the first Houston toque to receive the prestigious accolade since Robert Del Grande of RDG + Bar Annie won in 1992.
Finalists will be announced on Tuesday, March 24, and winners will be named on Monday, May 4 at a ceremony in Chicago. We'll be cheering on all of the nominees representing Houston and our outstanding culinary community.