*Thanks to Stuart Melling for pointing out that I neglected to put Peggi Ince Whiting of Kyoto on this list. After being assured women couldn’t be sushi chefs because “their hands are too warm” Whiting has gone on to make sushi in Salt Lake or Park City for more than 30 years. I apologize for the omission and I applaud Peggi!
Blake Spalding and Jen Castle: Hell’s Backbone Grill, Boulder
Nick Fahs, David Barboza and Mike Blocher, Table X, Salt Lake City
Briar Handly, Handle, Park City, UT (and HSL, Salt Lake City, UT)
Moudi Sbeity and Derek Kitchen, Laziz Kitchen, Salt Lake City
Peggi Ince Whiting, Kyoto, Salt Lake City
All semifinalists for the Best Chef in the Mountain Region (a new category) in the James Beard Awards, the most prestigious honor an American restaurant can attain.
Congratulations to all these chefs (who have all won awards from Salt Lake magazine.)
Now do them and the whole food community a big favor: GO EAT AT THESE RESTAURANTS. Excellence deserves support. And it doesn’t come easy.
Here’s the complete list of semifinalists in the U.S.