Houston shockingly shut out of prestigious 'Oscars of food awards'

HOUSTON, Texas -- A morning that began with optimism at Houston's prospects in the James Beard Awards ended in disappointment. None of the city's record-breaking 11 semifinalists moved on to the finalist status for the awards, which are widely considered the Oscars of the culinary world.

That disappointment is exacerbated by the James Beard Foundation's decision to come to Houston to announce the finalists live from Hugo's in Montrose. Not earning any finalist nominations undermined the optimism spurred by Tuesday night's sold out dinner at Caracol where all of the city's James Beard winners - Irma Galvan (Irma's), Robert Del Grande (Cafe Annie), Chris Shepherd (Underbelly Hospitality), Justin Yu (Theodore Rex), and Hugo Ortega (H-Town Restaurant Group) - served delicious dishes that highlighted the city's culinary star power.

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Did someone say food?! Houston food lovers, unite!