Philadelphia and Pittsburgh chefs and restaurants recognized as 2024 James Beard Award semifinalists

My Loup, Philadelphia (Photo: Nicole Guglielmo)

By Patrick Berkery

January 24, 2024

The semifinalists for the 2024 James Beard Awards were announced Wednesday, and Philly landed semifinalists in six categories, while Pittsburgh landed two semifinalists in the Best Chefs category.

Philadelphia scored big at the 2023 James Beard Awards, and the City of Brotherly Love’s culinary scene could fare well again in 2024. Pittsburgh’s vibrant restaurant scene could be recognized nationally as well.

The semifinalists for the 2024 James Beard Awards were announced Wednesday, and Philly landed nominees in six categories, while Pittsburgh landed two semifinalists in the Best Chefs category.

Philly’s semifinalists range from Isgro Pastries, a South Philly staple since 1904, to a pair of restaurants that have been open less than a year (My Loup and Bolo).

Here’s a rundown of the Pennsylvania semifinalists:

Outstanding Chef

Dionicio Jiménez, Cantina La Martina, Philadelphia

Emerging Chef

Yun Fuentes, Bolo, Philadelphia

Best New Restaurant

My Loup, Philadelphia

Outstanding Bakery

Isgro Pastries, Philadelphia

Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages

a.kitchen+bar, Philadelphia

Best Chefs (Mid-Atlantic)

Carlos Aparicio, El Chingon, Philadelphia

Jesse Ito, Royal Sushi & Izakaya, Philadelphia

Kate Lasky and Tomasz Skowronski, Apteka, Pittsburgh

Randy Rucker, River Twice, Philadelphia

Omar Tate, Honeysuckle Provisions, Philadelphia

Bootsaba Tongdee, Pusadee’s Garden, Pittsburgh

In 2023, three Philadelphia restaurants/chefs were recognized with prestigious top honors at the James Beard Awards. Hannah and Chad Williams took home the Outstanding Restaurant award for Friday Saturday Sunday; Ellen Yin of High Street Hospitality Group (Fork, a.kitchen + bar, High Street Philly) won Outstanding Restaurateur; and Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon of Kalaya was named Outstanding Chef, Mid-Atlantic Region.

Established in 1990 and first awarded in 1991, the James Beard Awards recognize exceptional talent and achievement in the culinary arts, hospitality, media, and broader food system, as well as a demonstrated commitment to racial and gender equity, community, sustainability, and a culture where all can thrive.

Nominees will be announced on April 3, and winners will be announced at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards Ceremony on June 10 in Chicago.

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