Six Colorado restaurants and chefs advanced as finalists for the James Beard Foundation’s prestigious Restaurant and Chef Awards, the organization announced Wednesday. And the Centennial State is guaranteed at least one win since local chefs swept the ballot in the Mountain Region category.
All five finalists nominated in the 2022 best chef in the Mountain Region category — which includes Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming — hail from the Front Range. They are:
- Jose Avila of El Borrego Negro in Denver
- Cody Cheetham of Tavernetta in Denver
- Caroline Glover of Annette in Aurora
- Dana Rodriguez of Work & Class in Denver
- Eric Skokan of Black Cat Farm Table Bistro in Boulder
When the James Beard Foundation announced semifinalists last month, Colorado boasted 13 nominations, including in several nationally competitive categories such as outstanding restaurateur, outstanding chef and best new restaurant.
However, just The Little Nell in Aspen advanced in the nationwide pools: It’s up for outstanding wine program, running against The Four Horsemen (New York City), Frenchette (New York City), Maydan (Washington, D.C.) and Rebel Rebel (Sommerville, Mass.)
The 2022 James Beard awards are back after a two-year hiatus, during which the foundation reevaluated its nomination process to be more inclusive. In a statement, Tanya Holland, chair of the James Beard Awards Committee, touted this year’s list of finalists as “the most diverse” in the awards’ history.
“The awards are a great reminder that we are among innovators, entrepreneurs and trailblazers who represent a wide range of regions, cultures and cooking philosophies,” said Tanya Holland, chair of the James Beard Awards Committee. “And this year, in particular, is a great reminder of how incredibly diverse our industry is.”
The winners will be announced on June 13 during an in-person awards ceremony at Lyric Chicago. See the full list of nominees here.