James Beard Foundation Shows Love to Black Restaurants and Chefs With 2023 Award Semifinalists

By Angela Johnson

This week, we told you that on Yelp’s list of Top 100 Places to Eat, only five of the restaurants were Black-owned. Welp, the James Beard Awards® just announced their 2023 Restaurant and Chef Awards semifinalists and the news was much better for Black folks.

The James Beard Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a restaurant industry where everyone can thrive, has recognized noteworthy restaurants and chefs with their highly-coveted award since 1991. This year’s standouts were chosen across 23 categories, including Outstanding Restaurant, Emerging Chef and Outstanding Bakery. Winners will be honored at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards Ceremony on Monday, June 5, 2023, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

A Beard award carries a tremendous amount weight in the industry, mostly because the winners are chosen by their peers. A committee of industry professionals (including past winners) vote on recommendations submitted by other restaurants, chefs, and creatives.