Congratulations to Arizona’s James Beard Award Nominees
One of the most prestigious honors in the culinary industry is the James Beard Award. After a two-year hiatus, the awards have returned, with four Arizonans receiving nominations.
In February, 15 Arizona chefs and restaurants were named James Beard Award semifinalists in several categories. The semifinalists were then narrowed down to the final nominees at a ceremony at El Chorro in Paradise Valley in March.
The Arizona nominees are:
- Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco, Pane Bianco and Tratto in Phoenix, who won the James Beard Award for Best Chef Southwest in 2003, was nominated for Outstanding Restaurateur. The award recognizes a restaurateur who uses their establishments as a vehicle for building community and demonstrates creativity in entrepreneurship and integrity in restaurant operations.
- Don Guerra, owner and founder of Barrio Bread in Tucson, was nominated for Outstanding Baker, an award given to a baker of breads, pastries or desserts who displays exceptional skill.
- Giovanni Scorzo of Andreoli Italian Grocer in Scottsdale was nominated for Best Chef Southwest, an award given to a chef in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada or Oklahoma who sets high standards in their culinary skills and leadership abilities and helps create a sustainable work culture.
- Bacanora in Phoenix was nominated for Best New Restaurant, an award given to a restaurant opened in 2020 or 2021 that already demonstrates excellence in cuisine and hospitality and seems likely to make a significant impact in years to come.
In 2019, Charleen Badman of FnB in Scottsdale was the first Arizona chef to win the James Beard Award for Best Chef Southwest since 2007.
The 2022 James Beard Awards winners will be announced in Chicago in June.