Here are the metro Detroit restaurants and chefs semifinalists for James Beard Awards

·2 min read
The Gutty at Mudgie's Deli in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood combines layers of warm, top-quality meats -- house-roasted corned beef and beef brisket, Genoa salami, pastrami and bacon -- with Romaine and garlic mayo on a Kaiser roll. A big pickle brings some crunch to the plate.  Picture take at Mudgie's Deli on August 4, 2012.
The Gutty at Mudgie's Deli in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood combines layers of warm, top-quality meats -- house-roasted corned beef and beef brisket, Genoa salami, pastrami and bacon -- with Romaine and garlic mayo on a Kaiser roll. A big pickle brings some crunch to the plate. Picture take at Mudgie's Deli on August 4, 2012.

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.

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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.

Inside of Shelby in downtown Detroit on Jan. 13, 2022.
Inside of Shelby in downtown Detroit on Jan. 13, 2022.

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 chef Javier Bardauil fries up an egg on the wood-fired grill on Jan. 21, 2022. Barda is competing for the Detroit Free Press Restaurant of the Year. Barda's owners took over the Magnet space on Grand River Avenue and specialize in Argentinian and South American cuisine, a variety of specialty wines and craft cocktails.
Barda chef Javier Bardauil fries up an egg on the wood-fired grill on Jan. 21, 2022. Barda is competing for the Detroit Free Press Restaurant of the Year. Barda's owners took over the Magnet space on Grand River Avenue and specialize in Argentinian and South American cuisine, a variety of specialty wines and craft cocktails.

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.

A classic whiskey sour prepared by Barda bartender Roger Fruin Friday, Jan. 21, 2022. Barda, a restaurant in Detroit, is competing for the Detroit Free Press Restaurant of the Year on Jan. 21, 2022. Barda's owners took over the Magnet space on Grand River Avenue and specialize in Argentinian and South American cuisine, a variety of specialty wines and craft cocktails.
A classic whiskey sour prepared by Barda bartender Roger Fruin Friday, Jan. 21, 2022. Barda, a restaurant in Detroit, is competing for the Detroit Free Press Restaurant of the Year on Jan. 21, 2022. Barda's owners took over the Magnet space on Grand River Avenue and specialize in Argentinian and South American cuisine, a variety of specialty wines and craft cocktails.

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.

Mudgie's Deli and Bar in Detroit on June 24, 2021.
Mudgie's Deli and Bar in Detroit on June 24, 2021.

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.

Baobab Fare, Barda, Madam and the Shelby were all recently named Detroit FreePress 2022 Best New Restaurants. Mudgie's was named the 2022 Detroit Free Press Restaurant of the Year Classic.

Husband-and-wife duo Nadia Nijimbere and  Mamba Hamissi are refugees from Burundi serving up East African cuisine in Detroit's New Center neighborhood at their restaurant Baobab Fare on Jan. 14, 2022.
Husband-and-wife duo Nadia Nijimbere and Mamba Hamissi are refugees from Burundi serving up East African cuisine in Detroit's New Center neighborhood at their restaurant Baobab Fare on Jan. 14, 2022.

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.

Contact Detroit Free Press food writer Susan Selasky and send food and restaurant news to: sselasky@freepress.com. Follow @SusanMariecooks on Twitter.

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Metro Detroit restaurants and chefs semifinalists for Beard awards