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Here Are All of Greater LA’s Many James Beard Foundation Award Semifinalists

The SoCal region received ample consideration for this year’s coveted JBFA awards, with the winners to be announced in June

Green pozole from Tamales Elena y Antojitos in Bell Gardens being held.
Green pozole from Tamales Elena y Antojitos in Bell Gardens
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

The James Beard Foundation has announced its semifinalists for the 2022 restaurant and chef awards today, February 23. It’s a good day for deserving Los Angeles restaurants and bars, as the city and region has racked a slew of nominations. Finalists will be announced on March 16, with the awards ceremony held in Chicago on June 13.

This year marks a return to the more traditional JBFA awards ceremony, which took time off in 2020 and 2021 to reflect and make some significant changes within the organization. The prestigious restaurant awards were taken to task over the lack of diversity among previous JFBA winners, while several prior nominees and winners were accused of bad behavior. The awards were also paused because of the pandemic, with the foundation pushing efforts to federally fund and otherwise save small restaurants nationwide.

The list, revealed today, is a mix of previously-nominated names like Margarita Manzke of Republique and new arrivals to the list like Natalia Pereira of Downtown LA’s Woodspoon. The region is already celebrating one week after Sherman Oaks’s Casa Vega became one of six restaurants nationwide that received a JBFA America’s classic restaurants award, which recognizes longstanding independent or family-owned restaurants.

Have a look at this year’s local nominees that include chefs and businesses that span from Sherman Oaks all the way to Costa Mesa. In the California best chef category, Southern California dominates.

Best Chef: California

Keith Corbin, Alta Adams
Tony Ho, Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant
Judept Irra, Tamales Elena y Antojitos
Bryant Ng, Cassia
Natalia Pereira, Woodspoon
Minh Phan, Phenakite
Justin Pichetrungsi, Anajak Thai
Carlos Salgado, Taco Maria
Sarintip “Jazz” Singsanong, Jitlada

Outstanding Restaurateur

Greg Dulan, Dulan’s Soul Food Restaurant and Hotville

Outstanding Chef

Niki Nakayama, n/naka

Outstanding Restaurant

Post & Beam

Emerging Chef

Casey Felton, Banh Oui

Outstanding Bar Program

Genever

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Margarita Manzke, Republique

Outstanding Baker

Joseph, Archalous and Caroline Geragosian, Old Sasoon Bakery

Best New Restaurant

Angry Egret Dinette

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