Most career fields have an award system to acknowledge the best in their craft. In the restaurant and hospitality industry, the prestigious James Beard Award can give a chef the credibility they have worked their tail off for.

Who is James Beard and Why is this award so important?

If you really get into the food competition shows, you have probably heard of a chef being a James Beard Award winner or finalist. This holds more than a teaspoon of street cred in kitchens across America.

In 1990 the James Beard Foundation established the James Beard Foundation Awards for excellence in the food and beverage and related industries.
2023 James Beard Restaurant And Chef Awards
Getty Images for The James Beard

Nominees will be announced on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, and winners will be announced at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards Ceremony on Monday, June 10, 2024 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

2024 Chef Semifinalists James Beard Awards

It's very exciting to see Indiana and Kentucky represented in the 2024 semifinalists for the James Beard Awards. Dallas McGarity is the chef at The Fat Lamb in Louisville, Kentucky.

Owner/Chef Dallas McGarity's menu showcases modern but approachable comfort food with inspiration from around the globe. Opened in 2016 in the heart of Louisville's highlands neighborhood, the chef and restaurant has earned many accolades along with winning Food Network's CHOPPED in 2019 and it continues to evolve. "Serving creative cuisine, craft cocktails, local beer, and interesting wines along with stellar service is our goal. Please join us and experience our hospitality and cuisine." -Chef Dallas McGarity

2011 Grinstead Dr,
Louisville, KY 40204


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Salvador Fernandez is the chef at Bridges Craft Pizza & Wine Bar in Greencastle, Indiana. They are not kidding around when it comes to seeking out the James Beard Award. 19 North Indiana Street Greencastle, IN 46135 

Thomas Melvin is the Executive Chef at Vida located at 601 E New York St
Indianapolis, IN 46202.

Under Chef Thomas’s direction Union 50 made Open Table’s list of 100 Hottest Restaurants in America for two consecutive years. In 2017, Chef Thomas transitioned to Executive Chef at Vida where his culinary artistry and respect for the craft has maintained AAA’s 4 diamond award every year since.

2024 Emerging Chef Semifinalist James Beard Awards

Lawrence Weeks is considered one of the up-and-coming chefs in Louisville, Kentucky. You can find him at North of Bourbon.

PHOTO: GOOGLE MAPS North of Bourbon
PHOTO: GOOGLE MAPS North of Bourbon

Read More: Food Network's Best Indianapolis Bluebeard Evansville Connection

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