ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona chefs, restaurants fall short in James Beard Award finals

Mar 15, 2017, 12:58 PM
(Pixabay.com Photo)...
(Pixabay.com Photo)
(Pixabay.com Photo)

PHOENIX — The quest to bring home a prestigious James Beard Award has ended this year for Arizona, when finalists were announced Wednesday.

Arizona hasn’t had a winner since 2007.

In the chef category, Charleen Badman of FnB in Scottsdale, Silvana Esparza of Barrio Urbano in Phoenix and Jeff Smedstad of Elote Cafe in Sedona, came up short.

Phoenix’s Pizzeria Bianco was passed over for outstanding restaurant; Sam Fox, whose multiple restaurants include Olive and Ivy, Culinary Dropout and Flower Child, all in the Valley, had been nominated for outstanding restaurateur; FnB also was up for best wine program.

The three chefs had earned Southwest semifinal spots in February.

Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah also compete in the Southwest region.

Badman has been nominated four straight years and told KTAR’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes in February, “It’s always an honor” to be on the list.

Nobuo Fukuda was the last Arizona winner. Fukuda opened the much-praised Sea Saw in Scottsdale in 2002. He closed the restaurant in 2007, but opened Nobuo at Teeter House in downtown Phoenix in 2010.

Winners will be announced May 1 in Chicago.

The Beard Foundation began awarding the prizes in 1990. The awards are often described as the “Oscars of food.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Over $100K in production equipment stolen from NFL Experience in Phoenix

An investigation is underway after police said over $100,000 worth of production equipment was stolen from the NFL Experience in Phoenix on Saturday.
15 hours ago
(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department )...
KTAR.com

Phoenix police seek man who fled scene of fatal multi-vehicle wreck

Police are seeking a man who fled the scene after he was involved in a fatal multi-vehicle accident Saturday night, authorities said.
15 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

NFL offering free CPR training during Super Bowl week

The NFL and American Heart Association will provide free CPR education in Arizona throughout Super Bowl week as part of the NFL Experience.
15 hours ago
(AP Photo)...
KTAR.com

Glendale ranks 4th in study of worst commutes in US

In a new study of U.S. cities, Glendale ranks fourth in terms of the nation's worst commutes.
15 hours ago
An IRS 1040 form, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, is shown on Thursday, April 5, 2018, in New Yo...
KTAR.com

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide provides free income tax prep assistance in Arizona

One taxpayer assistance option available is the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, which is providing free tax assistance and preparation in Arizona.
15 hours ago
(Arizona Game and Fish Department Photo)...
Alex Weiner

Sonoran pronghorn population in Arizona makes leaps after AZGFD partnership with Mexico

The Sonoran pronghorn native to Arizona was on the cusp of extinction in the United States with 21 individuals in the wild in 2002.
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Arizona chefs, restaurants fall short in James Beard Award finals