13 Colorado Restaurants and Chefs Make James Beard Award Semi-Finalist List | The gallery

Thirteen Colorado restaurants and chefs landed on the semi-finalist list for the James Beard Awards 2022 Restaurant and Chef Awards last week.

The winners, including those in leadership. Lifetime Achievement and Humanitarian of the Year will be announced March 16 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The finalists will celebrate at a ceremony on June 13 at the Lyric Opera in Chicago.

The awards, established in 1991, recognize the best in the restaurant industry nationwide. A link to all semi-finalists and rules can be found at

“We are thrilled to see the diverse and broad representation of talented Colorado restaurants and chefs on the James Beard Foundation’s semi-finalist list for its Restaurant and Chef Awards,” said Sonia Riggs, President and CEO. of the Colorado Restaurant Association, in a statement. “This prestigious recognition is huge as Colorado continues to establish itself as a national culinary destination.”

“The return of the awards, and 13 of them recognizing Colorado’s incredible restaurant teams, is a great time to step back and celebrate those who feed us, serve us, bring us so much joy, show us a window on a different culture and show up for our communities in essential ways during crises,” Katie Lazor, executive director of EatDenver, said in a statement. “And not to mention those who are dedicated to creating better jobs in this industry. Celebrating chefs, restaurant owners and restaurant workers certainly has a deeper impact this year.

Semi-finalists include:

Outstanding restorer: Edwin Zoe, Zoe Ma Ma and Chimera Ramen, Boulder and Denver

Outstanding cook: Josh Niernberg, Bin 707 Foodbar, Grand Junction

Emerging cook: Manuel “Manny” Barella, Bellota, Denver

Best New Restaurant: Casian Seafood, Lafayette

Exceptional hospitality: Spuntino, Denver

Outstanding Wine Program: Little Nell, Aspen

Best Chef, Mountain Division:

Jose Avila, El Borrego Negro, Denver

Cody Cheetham, Tavernetta, Denver

Caroline Glover, Annette, Aurora

Mawa McQueen, Mawa’s Kitchen, Aspen

Dana Rodriguez, Work and Class, Denver

Eric Skokan, Black Cat Farm Table Bistro, Boulder

Luis Young, Penrose House, Colorado Springs

“The well-deserved honor and press gained from these nominations is especially valuable to Colorado restaurants and chefs at this difficult time,” said Riggs. “Our January 2022 Economic Impact Survey found that 54% of restaurants in Colorado are still at risk of closing within the year and, on average, restaurants face $180,000 in pandemic-related debt.”

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Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement