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ST. LOUIS — Some local St. Louis residents are among the 2023 James Beard Award semifinalists. The awards are among the most prestigious in the country. They recognize outstanding talent in the culinary and food media industries. 

The nominees will be announced on Wednesday, March 29, and the winners will be honored at a ceremony at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on Monday, June 5, 2023. 

St. Louis area James Beard Award 2023 semifinalists:

Outstanding Restaurateur:  Michael, Tara Gallina, and Aaron Martinez, of Take Root Hospitality, operate multiple establishments in St. Louis. They include Bistro La Floraison, Taqueria Morita, and Winslow’s Table.

Outstanding Bakery: La Patisserie Chouquette in St. Louis makes custom cakes and wedding cakes. Simone Faure is a pastry chef and the owner of the small pastry shop based on the French style. 

Simone grew up in New Orleans and got to start working for the famous Ritz-Carlton Hotel chain before moving to St. Louis with the company. She has baked for LL Cool J, Missy Elliot, Jodi Foster, Brad Pitt, Queen Latifah, and many more noteable people. 

Outstanding Bar: The Gin Room in St. Louis was nominated for outstanding bar. It has more than 300 different kinds of gin. They have a menu that includes creative cocktails, classic cocktails with a specific gin choice, gin and house-made tonics, and martinis. 

Best Chef: Midwest:

  • Nick Bognar for Indo, a Southeast Asian Cuisine restaurant that offers high-quality food and a unique dining experience. 
  • Rob Connoley for Bulrush, an Ozark Cuisine restaurant. Not only is the food seasonal, but it is also very seasonal. They want you to try fresh ingredients when they are at their best, and then again after they have been preserved and gotten even better.
  • Loryn Nalic for Balkan Treat Box. It is a different type of restaurant where customers can order boxed lunches or catering. They also have a food truck for events. 

The full list of 2023 Restaurant and Chef Awards semifinalists can be found on the James Beard Foundation website