Denver, CO

13 Colorado Restaurants and Chefs Named James Beard Semifinalists

Brittany Anas
The Fried Chicken Sando you can order "hot or not" at Bin 707.Photo byBin 707

By Brittany Anas / NewsBreak Denver

(Colorado) Not only is it awards season in Hollywood, but it’s also the culinary world’s time to recognize the best best chefs and restaurants.

The James Beard Foundation, which celebrates those behind America’s food culture, released its list of 2023 restaurant and chef award semifinalists, also known as the “long list.” Award winners will be announced on June 5.

Colorado has a strong presence on this year’s list, with 13 chefs and restaurants receiving early nominations.

Some recognizable names are on the nominee list, including award-winning chef Dana Rodriguez who helms Super Mega Bien where pan-Latin dishes are served on dim sum carts. She’s also rehauling the food and beverage program at the renovated Casa Bonita that’s scheduled to open in May.
Dana Rodriguez (right) at her restaurant Super Mega Bien. The award-winning chef is among the contenders for outstanding chef.Photo bySuper Mega Bien

This year’s nominees also include some up-and-comers, like an Italian restaurant in Alamosa that serves dishes like pasta’s “holy trinity” with a sampling of lasagna, fettuccine alfredo and chicken parmesan. The Friar’s Fork also has a set lunch menu price with $16.50 meals that come with fountain sodas.

While no Colorado bartenders made the semifinalist cut this year, Sunday Vinyl—a sleek wine bar and restaurant that makes public its playlists—is a contender for the outstanding wine and beverage program category.
Enjoy wine, plus great food and music at Sunday Vinyl.Photo bySunday Vinyl

One more trend to take note of on this year’s semi-finalist list? The Western Slope is on fire. Grand Junction just made The New York Times’ list of 52 places to go in 2023, and Josh Nierenberg (Bin 707 Foodbar, Taco Party) is an outstanding chef nominee and Pêche in Palisade is Colorado’s sole contestant for the outstanding hospitality category.
The interior of Bin 707. Chef Josh Nierenberg is among the James Beard semifinalists for outstanding chef.Photo byBin 707

Here are all of Colorado’s 2023 James Beard Semi-Finalists.

Outstanding Restaurateur:

Outstanding Chef:

Emerging Chef:

Best New Restaurant:

Outstanding Pastry Chef of Baker:

Outstanding Hospitality:

Outstanding Wine and Other Beverage Program:

Best Chef, Mountain Division:

For the best chef category, Colorado competes in the mountain division that also includes Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.

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Brittany is a journalist in the Denver metro area with more than two decades of writing and editing experience. She covers travel, restaurants and other lifestyle topics.

Westminster, CO

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