Meet the Minnesota Chefs Who are James Beard Award Semifinalists
The 2022 James Beard Award Semifinalists have been announced! A James Beard Award is a high honor in the restaurant world so just being a semifinalist for one of their awards is a big accomplishment. This year's semifinalists include four chefs from Minnesota, 2 restaurants, and 1 restauranteur.
2022 James Beard Award Semifinalists - Minnesota Restaurants
Both Minnesota restaurants that are in the running for a James Beard Award are for 'Best New Restaurant'. The two restaurants are Owamni and Union Hmong Kitchen. Both are located in Minneapolis and are competing against other restaurants around the country.
2022 James Beard Award Semifinalists - Minnesota Restauranteur
The one Minnesota restauranteur that's in the running for the 'Outstanding Restauranteur' award is Kim Bartmann who is part of Bartmann Group in Minneapolis. They own many delicious-looking restaurants in Minneapolis like Book Club, Red Stag Supperclub, and Pat's Tap.
2022 James Beard Award Semifinalists - Minnesota Chefs
Finally, we have the four Minnesota chefs who could be the next winner of the 'Best Chef: Midwest' category. First is Jorge Guzmán, chef at Petite León in Minneapolis. Jorge was born and raised in Yucatán and on the Petite León website he says his "fondest memories have always revolved around food, family and always together."
Next, we have Sean Sherman, chef at Owamni in Minneapolis. Yes, Owamni is also in the running for 'Best New Restaurant'. That would be awesome if they can take home both awards! Sean is a part of the Oglala Lakota tribe and was born in Pine Ridge, SD. His focus in the culinary world "has been on the revitalization and awareness of indigenous foods systems in a modern culinary context."
Erik Skaar, chef at Vann in Spring Park is also a semifinalist. Vann means water in Norweigan, which is a nod to Erik's roots. He's studied all around the country and also in Paris. He has a love for fish, seafood, and waterfowl which is why that's the focus of his restaurant.
Finally, we have Yia Vang, chef at Union Hmong Kitchen in Minneapolis, another chef whose restaurant is also in the running for 'Best New Restaurant'. Yia was born in a Thai refugee camp in Wisconsin. He "uses food to tell a story" and likes to take "what’s in season and combining local traditions with those from his family and cultural traditions".