Every year, the James Beard Awards announces its winners and those who make the list are among some of the best in the food industry. The prestigious culinary awards honors those who are creating “exceptional food, food media content, and better food systems while demonstrating a commitment to racial and gender equity, community, sustainability, and a culture where all can thrive.”
Each year, we’re excited to see the semifinalists and nominees from our city, Las Vegas and 2024’s semifinalists have just been announced, awarding 4 Las Vegas chefs in 3 different categories.
Clare Reichenbach, CEO of the James Beard Foundation, said
As we’ve heard time and again from honorees, receiving this recognition has the potential to be truly transformative—and so, the Awards remain a vital platform for supporting and elevating the independent restaurant industry as a whole. Congratulations to our 2024 semifinalists and best of luck this Awards.”
The first award that Las Vegas nabbed was one in the Outstanding Chef category, described as a chef who sets “high culinary standards and has served as a
positive example for other food professionals while contributing positively to their broader community.”
Barcelona-native Oscar Amador Edo of Anima by EDO won that honor, and was a finalist in 2023. Anima by EDO is an Italian and Spanish restaurant that does small tapas that are exceptional quality. For those with a bigger appetite, there’s also bigger plates of steak and pasta for you to indulge in.
In the Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker section, MILKFISH Bakeshop, a pop-up nabbed a semifinalist spot. The award celebrates a pastry chef or baker who demonstrates exceptional skills, doesn’t need a brick-and-mortar presence and contribues positively to their broader community. They’re quite new on the scene, having opening in 2020 and now receiving the honor of a James Beard Award for their baked goods inspired by the Phillipines. In 2022, they started a pop-up in Vegas Test Kitchen in downtown Las Vegas while also participating in special events like Asian Night Market and Space and Time: Vegas 1st Filipino Night Market.
In the last category, Best Chef in the Southwest portion of the nation, we saw DJ Flores of Milpa and Brian Howard of Sparrow + Wolf win. These cateogory includes chefs from AZ, NM, NV, and OK. Milpa, which also just landed on the Yelp’s Top 100 Restaurants in the U.S. does Mexican food like carefully crafted tacos and brunch dishes from different portions of Mexico. Sparrow + Wolf is a restaurant that does simple, effective, and elemental cooking that values quality and sustainability, inspired by Howard’s experience growing up in the Midwest.
We’re so excited to see some of our talented culinary greats place. Nominees will be announced on Wednesday, April 3rd and winners will be celebrated at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony on Monday, June 10 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.