The Show on KJZZ

Listen live weekdays at 9 a.m.

Here are all the 2024 James Beard Award semifinalists from Arizona

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Wednesday, January 24, 2024 - 12:05pm
Updated: Friday, January 26, 2024 - 2:19pm

Audio icon Download mp3 (1.56 MB)

The James Beard Foundation released their semifinalists on Wednesday morning for this year’s James Beard Awards — they're considered the Academy Awards of the food and beverage industry. 

Arizona’s on the map with a nod for outstanding restaurateur for Armando Hernandez and Nadia Holguin, the couple behind fan favorite Tacos Chiwas and the upscale Cocina Chiwas. 

Roberto Centeno of Espiritu in Mesa is up for emerging chef, and a Persian spot in Phoenix called Ava Bakery was nominated as best new restaurant. 

Valentine’s Crystal Kass is up for best pastry chef. 

Others on the semifinalist list include Andreoli Italian Grocer in Scottsdale and the Phoenix bar Little Rituals. And five Arizona chefs are up for best chef in the Southwest, including the chefs at Bacanora, Glai Baan and Source.

Dishes from Bacanora
Tim Agne/KJZZ
Dishes from Bacanora in Phoenix.

2024 Arizona nominees

Outstanding restaurateur

Armando Hernandez and Nadia Holguin, Cocina Chiwas and Tacos Chiwas, Tempe and Phoenix

Emerging chef

Roberto Centeno, Espiritu, Mesa

Best new restaurant

Ava Bakery, Phoenix

Ava Bakery in Phoenix
Sky Schaudt/KJZZ
Ava Bakery in Phoenix was nominated for best new restaurant.

Outstanding pastry chef or baker

Crystal Kass, Valentine, Phoenix

Outstanding hospitality

Andreoli Italian Grocer, Scottsdale

Outstanding bar

Little Rituals, Phoenix

Best chef: Southwest

Rene Andrade, Bacanora, Phoenix
Flavia Briones, Barista Del Barrio, Tucson
Pornsupak “Cat” Bunnag, Glai Baan, Phoenix
Wendy Garcia, Tumerico, Tucson
Sam Greenhalgh, Forêt, Flagstaff
Claudio Urciuoli, Source, Gilbert

More stories from KJZZ

The Show Food + Restaurants