The James Beard Foundation semifinalists were announced today, and Houston has some honorable representatives on the ballot. In fact, it looks quite a bit like last year's nominees.
Anvil Bar & Refuge was yet again nominated for Outstanding Bar Program, and chefs Chris Shepherd of Underbelly and Hugo Ortega of Hugo's (and one of our favorite new restaurants, Caracol) are up for Best Chef: Southwest again. Added to that category is chef Justin Yu of Oxheart, who was up for Rising Star Chef of the Year in 2013.
Philip Speer of Uchi is getting some love in the Outstanding Pastry Chef arena, though if it were a competition for most impressive tattoos, there'd be no question he'd walk away with the award.
Best of luck to all. A full list of semifinalists is available here, and finalists will be announced March 18th.