St. Louis restaurants miss the cut as James Beard Foundation announces final 2023 Restaurant and Chef Award nominees

The James Beard Foundation has just announced the final shortlist of nominees for its 2023 Restaurant and Chef Awards. However, the results make disappointing reading for St. Louis, with none of the local restaurants nominated as semifinalists making the final cut.

In January, the James Beard Foundation named six St. Louis-based chefs, restaurateurs and venues among the semifinalists for the awards. The six included:

·      Outstanding Restaurateur: Michael and Tara Gallina and Aaron Martinez of Take Root Hospitality 

·      Best Chef, Midwest: Nick Bognar of Indo and Sado

·      Best Chef, Midwest: Rob Connoley of Bulrush

·      Best Chef, Midwest: Loryn Nalic of Balkan Treat Box and forthcoming Balkan-inspired cafe Telva at The Ridge 

·      Outstanding Bakery: Simone Faure’s La Patisserie Chouquette 

·      Outstanding Bar: Natasha Bahrami’s The Gin Room 

In addition to the six St. Louis-based nominees, Scratch Brewing Co. in Ava, Illinois, was also named as a semifinalist alongside The Gin Room in the Outstanding Bar category. Scratch Brewing Co. was also overlooked for the final round of nominations announced today. 

Today's announcement puts an end to St. Louis' interest in the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards for another year, but the region should be immensely proud of all the restaurants, bakeries and bars - and the people who make them what they are - who received the recognition they did this year. St. Louis will be back next year and hopefully even stronger. In the meantime, this year's award winners will be announced at a ceremony in Chicago on June 5.