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North Texas Nabs 11 James Beard Semifinalist Nominations 15

Texas nabbed 38 semifinalist nominations for the 2020 James Beard Awards, and North Texas is well represented.

11 restaurants and chefs in the region have been recognized. That’s a considerable jump from last year, when just 6 Dallas eateries and chefs made the cut.

This is the first year the James Beard Foundation is recognizing Texas as its own region, which means more love for chefs in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Donny Sirisavath is in the running for Best Texas Chef. His East Dallas restaurant, Khao Noodle Shop, has been getting rave reviews for bringing Laotian food into the spotlight. Bon Appetit magazine last year named it the number two restaurant in the country.

Bria Downey, the head chef at Clay Pigeon in Fort Worth, is up for Best Rising Chef. The homegrown talent studied baking and pastry at El Centro College before making her way through several top-knotch kitchens like Meddlesome Moth in Dallas and Bird Café in Fort Worth.

Salaryman is on the list for Best New Restaurant. The tiny Bishop Arts eatery serves up ramen made from scratch.

In the Outstanding Bar category: Las Almas Rotas. The bar in Exposition Park specializes in Mexican spirits like mezcal and tequila.

Award finalists will be announced next month.

Here are all the North Texas semifinalists:

Best Rising Chef:

Bria Downey, Clay Pigeon Food & Drink, Fort Worth, TX

Best Chef (Texas):

Molly McCook, Ellerbe Fine Foods, Fort Worth, TX

Misti Norris, Petra and the Beast, Dallas

Regino Rojas, Revolver Taco Lounge, Dallas

Teiichi Sakurai, Tei-An, Dallas

Donny Sirisavath, Khao Noodle Shop, Dallas

Best New Restaurant:

Salaryman, Dallas

Outstanding Baker:

Clyde Greenhouse, Kessler Baking Studio, Dallas

Outstanding Bar Program:

Las Almas Rotas, Dallas

Outstanding Pastry Chef:

Maggie Huff, Homewood, Dallas

Ricardo “Ricchi” Sanchez, Bullion, Dallas