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James Beard Awards semifinalists announced. The disappointing list is one big yawn.

The James Beard Foundation has released its list of semifinalists for its annual restaurant awards. Out today, you can see the list here. One DFW restaurant makes the cut: Revolver Taco Lounge’s Regino Rojas. There are a few places on the list from Austin, a handful from Houston, even a notable BBQ joint makes the list (Snow’s BBQ from Lexington is good, but c’mon…is their 8-hour brisket better than John Tesar’s steaks at Knife, which he special orders from 44 Farms then ages for eight months?)

It’s also especially odd to me how the committee failed to recognize Jack Gibbons, Randy Dewitt and their Front Burner restaurant group as restaurateur of the year semifinalists. Their concepts (Ida Claire, Whiskey Cake Kitchen, The Ranch at Las Colinas, The Keeper, Mexican Sugar, 60 Vines, Velvet Taco and Legacy Hall) have had a tremendous impact on the dining scene.

The JBF whittles down the contenders to a short list of finalists announced March 14. Awards will be presented May 7.

And omitting Harley Carbery in Las Vegas for a nod as best wine professional? That’s just wrong. The guy ran Joel Robuchon’s wine cellar, now manages the beverage program at the Delano and is a wine wiz at the table. He’s everything you would want in a wine pro.


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