After a two-year hiatus, the prestigious James Beard Awards are back. The list of semifinalists for 2022 released Wednesday includes more than a dozen from metro Detroit's restaurant scene.
The James Beard Awards are considered the most prestigious in the culinary scene, recognizing restaurants and chefs across the country for their achievements and skill in several categories.
J.D. Simpson and Roger Yopp of Detroit's SavannahBlue are among the 20 nominated in the outstanding restaurateur category who demonstrate "creativity in entrepreneurship and integrity in restaurant operations.”
In the outstanding chef category, Ji Hye Kim, owner of Miss Kim in Ann Arbor, is a semifinalist.
Barda in Detroit's Core City was the only Michigan restaurant to make the best new restaurants category. This year the category included restaurants that opened in 2020 or 2021.
Warda Bouguettaya of Warda Patisserie in Detroit is nominated in the outstanding pastry chef category. In 2020 Bouguettaya won the first Detroit Free Press/Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers Chef of the Year award.
Mudgie's Deli and Wine Shop and Phoenicia made the list for outstanding hospitality. Newly opened Madam in Birmingham's Daxton Hotel was listed in the outstanding wine program category. The speakeasy Shelby in Detroit made the list for outstanding bar program.
In the best chef Great Lakes category several metro Detroit chefs earned semifinalist nods. The category includes chef from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. Semifinalists are:
Omar Anani, Saffron De Twah, Detroit,
Anthony Lombardo, SheWolf, Detroit
Hamissi Mamba and Nadia Nijimbere, Baobab Fare, Detroit
Michael Ransom, Ima, Detroit
James Rigato, Mabel Gray, Hazel Park
Ahmad Sanji, AlTayeb, Dearborn
Sarah Welch, Marrow, Detroit
Kate Williams, Karl's, Detroit
James Rigato, Mike Ransom and Sarah Welch were all named semifinalists in the 2020 best chef category.
During the pause, the awards underwent a full audit of its policies and procedures, according to a news release and they are "continuing the work to remove bias, increase transparency and accessibility increase transparency, and making the program more aligned with the Foundation's mission and values."
The finalists will be revealed on March 16 and final winners will be named June 13 at the James Beard Foundation Awards Gala at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. You can see the full list of semifinalists at jamesbeard.org.
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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Metro Detroit restaurants and chefs semifinalists for Beard awards