HOUSTON (KTRK) -- We all know the food is great in Houston, and the James Beard Foundation agrees, naming nine local chefs and restaurants to its list of semifinalists for the 2017 Chef and Restaurant Awards.
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The foundation received more than 24,000 online entries spanning 21 different categories recognizing wine and spirits professionals, new restaurants and rising star chefs, pastry chefs and bakers. The following local chefs and restaurants were recognized:
Outstanding Bar Program
Anvil Bar & Refuge
Tracy Vaught, H Town Restaurant Group(Hugo's, Caracol, Backstreet Cafe, and others)
Rising Star Chef of the Year
William Wright, Helen Greek Food and Wine
Best Chef: Southwest
Manabu Horiuchi, Kata Robata
Anita Jaisinghani, Pondicheri
Hugo Ortega, Hugo's
Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan, The Pass
Jianyun Ye, Mala Sichuan Bistro
Click here to see the full list of semifinalists.
A panel of more than 600 judges from around the country will vote to determine five finalists in each category. Finalists will be announced during a press conference on Wednesday, March 9, and winners will be announced Monday, May 1 in Chicago.
Houston hosts 9 James Beard semifinalists
Hugo Ortega of Hugo's has been nominated for Best Chef: Southwest. The restaurant also received recognition for its outstanding service.