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
Greg Dulan, Dulan’s Soul Food Restaurant and Hotville
Niki Nakayama, n/naka
Post & Beam
Casey Felton, Banh Oui
Outstanding Bar Program
Outstanding Pastry Chef
Margarita Manzke, Republique
Joseph, Archalous and Caroline Geragosian, Old Sasoon Bakery
Best New Restaurant
Angry Egret Dinette