Some of the most prestigious awards in the restaurant industry were just handed out.

Brandon Jew
Thomas J. Story

Some of the most prestigious awards in the restaurant industry were awarded in June as the James Beard Foundation named its annual winners for the first time in two years. There were plenty of Western-based chefs, restaurants, and more up for recognition.

Top honors went to longtime Phoenix mainstay Chris Bianco, who earned the title of Outstanding Restaurateur for his trio of restaurants Tratto, Pane Bianco, and Pizzeria Bianco. The chef is also slated to open a pizzeria in downtown Los Angeles this month.

Arizona also got a nod for Outstanding Baker thanks Don Guerra of Tucson’s Barrio Bread.

This year, California’s Best Chef title went to Brandon Jew, the culinary genius behind Mister Jiu’s in San Francisco. Spicy, crispy peanuts kick off a flavor-packed, Chinatown-inspired feast from Jew’s latest cookbook, and we’ve got a handful of recipes for you to celebrate the win at home.

The James Beard Foundation’s awards “recognize exceptional talent in the culinary and food media industries, as well as a demonstrated commitment to racial and gender equity, community, sustainability, and a culture where all can thrive,” according to a press release. Honors range from best chefs in various regions across the United States to outstanding bakers and pastry chefs.

The 2022 awards ceremony took place at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and was broadcast live on the foundation’s Twitter account @beardfoundation. This marked a return for the ceremony after a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Here, find a list of all the Western winners.

Outstanding Restaurateur

Chef Chris Bianco and Chef Rene Andrade
Phoenix chefs Chris Bianco (left) and Rene Andrade were both nominated for James Beard Awards.

Thomas J. Story

Chris Bianco, Tratto, Pane Bianco, and Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix

Emerging Chef

Edgar Rico, Nixta Taqueria, Austin

Outstanding Baker

Don Guerra, Barrio Bread, Tucson, Arizona

Outstanding Bar Program

Julep, Houston

Best Chef: California

Mu Shu Mushroom
Mister Jiu’s

Thomas J. Story

Brandon Jew, Mister Jiu’s, San Francisco

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

Caroline Glover, Annette, Aurora, Colorado

Best Chef: Northwest and Pacific (AK, HI, OR, WA)

Robynne Maii, Fête, Honolulu

Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, NM, NV, OK)

Fernando Olea, Sazón, Santa Fe

Best Chef: Texas

Iliana de la Vega, El Naranjo, Austin


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