Houston

2019 James Beard Awards Nominees Will Be Announced In Houston

Often referred to as the “Oscars of the food world,” the awards span 50 categories, including Restaurant and Chef and Restaurant Design.

Houston-based Chef Hugo Ortega won a James Beard Award for “Best Chef: Southwest” in 2017.

Further adding to its reputation as a culinary hotspot, Houston will host the announcement of the 2019 James Beard Awards nominees on March 27, the James Beard Foundation and Houston First announced Tuesday.

Often referred to as the “Oscars of the food world,” the awards span 50 categories, including Restaurant and Chef and Restaurant Design. 

“The City of Houston is honored to host the James Beard Foundation as it announces the 2019 James Beard Award nominees,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a press release. “The Foundation has come to the ideal place. With one in every four Houstonians being foreign-born, Houston takes pride in the rich culinary scene that comes with being one of most diverse cities in the nation.”

The announcement will be hosted by Turner and Clare Reichenbach, CEO of the James Beard Foundation. The press conference will be followed by a breakfast at Hugo’s, a Mexican restaurant in Montrose by Chef Hugo Ortega, who won a James Beard Award for “Best Chef: Southwest” in 2017. Other recent Houston award winners include Justin Yu for “Best: Chef Southwest” in 2016 and Chris Shepherd for “Best Chef: Southwest” in 2014.

All four Houston James Beard winners of “Best Chef: Southwest.” From left to right: Chris Shepherd (2014), Hugo Ortega (2017), Justin Yu (2016) and Robert Del Grande (1992).

In 2018, Houston had seven national-level semifinalist nominations as well as five semifinalists for “Best Chef: Southwest.”

“The city of Houston’s dedication to cultivating and embracing its local restaurants and culinary talent make it the perfect community for such an occasion,” Reichenbach said in a press release.

A benefit dinner will also take place on March 26 at Caracol, featuring multiple James Beard Award-winning chefs. Tickets are $256.50 and can be purchased here.

The nominees will be announced at 9 a.m. CT on March 27, and can be viewed via a livestream on the James Beard Foundation website. The James Beard Media Awards winners will be announced in New York on April 26, followed by the Restaurant and Chef and Restaurant Design winners on May 6 in Chicago.

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