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6 Vegas chefs named semifinalists in 2024 James Beard Awards

Updated January 24, 2024 - 12:19 pm

Six Las Vegas chefs have been named semifinalists in the 2024 James Beard Foundation Awards, the nation’s most prestigious culinary recognition, one often called the Oscars of the food world. The Foundation announced its Restaurant and Chef semifinalists on Wednesday.

Chef Oscar Amador of Anima by EDO received a nod for Outstanding Chef, and Kimmie and Josh Mcintosh of MILKFISH Bakeshop, a bakery pop-up, received nods for Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker. Both are national categories.

“To be a semifinalist for Outstanding Chef is a dream,” Amador said. “I am so proud of my team and what we have been able to accomplish. It’s incredible!”

Chefs DJ Flores of Milpa, Steve Kestler of Aroma Latin American Cocina, and Brian Howard of Sparrow + Wolf were named in the Best Chef: Southwest category.

“Everything that I put into it, from days that I wasn’t getting anything, no sales at all, to this nomination today, it’s incredible,” Flores said. “Just the struggle of it. The ups and downs. The sacrifices. I’m just excited to be a part of this.”

Finalists in all restaurant and chef categories will be announced on April 3. Winners will be revealed at a ceremony on June 10 in Chicago. For a full list of 2024 semifinalists, visit here.

In 2023, the city also had a banner Beard year, with five chefs earning semifinalist nods in the Best Chef: Southwest category, and Garagiste, the downtown wine bar, receiving a nod in the national Outstanding Bar category.

Amador, chef Kaoru Azeuchi of Kaiseki Yuzu, and Garagiste were later named finalists in their categories, though none ended up winning.

Contact Johnathan L. Wright at jwright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @JLWTaste on Instagram and @ItsJLW on X.

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