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Detroit Chefs and Restaurants Named Semifinalists for the 2019 James Beard Awards

Marrow is being considered for the Best New Restaurant category

james beard medal James Beard Foundation [Official photo]
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

The James Beard Foundation has announced its 2019 awards semifinalists, recognizing culinary achievement across the country. This year’s “long list” nominees included nine notable Michigan restaurants and chefs. Here’s the full lineup of national contenders.

Detroit’s restaurant-butcher shop combo Marrow has been nominated in the Best New Restaurant category, while Eater Young Gun Lisa Ludwinski of Sister Pie is a contender for a third year in a row for the Outstanding Baker category. Zingerman’s Roadhouse in Ann Arbor is in the mix for Outstanding Service, following Zingerman’s Delicatessen’s nomination in 2018 for the category. Selden Standard’s pastry chef and Eater Young Gun Lena Sareini has been nominated in the Rising Star Chef of the Year category recognizing talented chefs under the age of 30 for a second year running. Additionally, a remarkable five local chefs are in the running for Best Chef: Great Lakes, including frequent semifinalist James Rigato (Mabel Gray), Norberto Garita (El Barzon), Anthony Lombardo (SheWolf), Genevieve Vang (Bangkok 96), and Kate Williams (Lady of the House).

In October, the James Beard Foundation changed its policies to ensure a more diverse group of decision makers and award winners. The organization added new committee members and asked them to increase the diversity of Beards judges. As a result, there’s been a 7 percent increase in the representation of people of color among semifinalists in the Restaurant and Chef categories. While fewer women are represented in this year’s list, Michigan’s nominees include four women and one women-owned and operated restaurant.

Although Michigan often has a handful of semifinalists, the state’s presence is generally small compared to nominations from Chicago. This year, there are a whopping 25 Chicago nominees. Michigan nominees have found it even more challenging to leap from semifinalist to finalist. Last year, only Zingerman’s Delicatessen made it to the finals.

The semifinalist nominations will be whittled down to five nominees per category between now and 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 27 when finalists will be announced at a the James Beard Media and Restaurant Design Awards in Houston. Winners will be named during the James Beard Awards Gala at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on Sunday, May 5.

Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Foundation Awards.

Here Are the 2019 James Beard Awards Restaurant and Chef Semifinalists [E]
All James Beard Awards Coverage [E]

Bangkok 96

2450 S Telegraph Rd, Dearborn, MI 48124 (313) 730-8161 Visit Website


438 Selden Street, Detroit, MI

Lady of the House

1426 Bagley Street, , MI 48216 (313) 818-0218 Visit Website

Selden Standard

3921 2nd Avenue, , MI 48201 (313) 438-5055 Visit Website

Sister Pie

8066 Kercheval Avenue, , MI 48214 (313) 447-5550 Visit Website

El Barzon

3710 Junction Avenue, , MI 48210 Visit Website

Mabel Gray

23825 John R Road, , MI 48030 (248) 398-4300 Visit Website


8044 Kercheval Avenue, , MI 48214 (313) 513-0361 Visit Website