James Beard Foundation Announces 2022 Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists

The James Beard Foundation Awards are among us and to no surprise, 13 Colorado-based chefs and restaurateurs are in the mix of semifinalists. Founded over 30 years ago, this nonprofit foundation is at the forefront of America’s food revolution. After a two-year break during the COVID-19 pandemic to focus on providing support for the independent chefs of our generation, these individuals deserve some much-needed recognition.

Caroline Glover, Annette

2022 Semifinalist for Best Chef: Mountain Award – Caroline Glover. Photo courtesy of Annette via Facebook.

According to the James Beard Foundation, these prestigious awards are designated to “celebrate, support and elevate the people behind America’s food culture and champion a standard of good food anchored in talent, equity and sustainability.” By carefully determining the individuals who are honored, the restaurant industry is positively supported and the desrire to thrive only increases. Colorado foodies can now confirm their suspicions — we house some of the best chefs and restaurateurs in the industry.

Cody Cheetham

2022 Semifinalist for Best Chef: Mountain Award – Cody Cheetham. Photo courtesy of Tavernetta Denver via Facebook.

Colorado is highlighted within many categories on the list, but old and new faces shine in the Best Chef, Mountain lineup. Cody Cheetham of Tavernetta is recognized for his work with Frasca Hospitality Group and Italian eats. Dana Rodriquez, the mastermind behind the resurrection of Casa Bonita, is featured alongside many other Centennial State residents.

READ: The Long Road to Casa Bonita – The Beloved Icon Returns Next Year

These semifinalists were chosen after a reflection of policy and procedures. The new objections, according to the 2022 James Beard Awards, recognize the need to remove any systemic bias, increase diversity in voting, ensure that knowledge of the awards is widely known, increase transparency and closely align the awards with the foundation’s mission and values. The James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony will take place on June 13 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Spuntino Denver

2022 Semifinalist for Outstanding Hospitality Award – Spuntino. Photo courtesy of Spuntino via Facebook.

Here’s the full list of Colorado chefs and restaurateurs featured as 2022 James Beard Awards Semifinalists:

Outstanding Restaurateur

Edwin Zoe, Zoe Ma Ma and Chimera Ramen, Boulder and Denver

Outstanding Chef

Josh Niernberg, Bin 707 Foodbar, Grand Junction

Emerging Chef

Manuel “Manny” Barella, Bellota, Denver

Best New Restaurant

Casian Seafood, Lafayette

Outstanding Hospitality

Spuntino, Denver

Outstanding Wine Program

The Little Nell, Aspen

Best Chef: Mountain (CO, ID, MT, UT, WY)

Jose Avila, El Borrego Negro, Denver

Cody Cheetham, Tavernetta, Denver

Caroline Glover, Annette, Aurora

Mawa McQueen, Mawa’s Kitchen, Aspen

Dana Rodriguez, Work & Class, Denver

Eric Skokan, Black Cat Farm Table Bistro, Boulder

Luis Young, Penrose Room, Colorado Springs