Jason and Sue Chin of Orlando’s Good Salt Restaurant Group, are semifinalists for the James Beard Foundation’s 2022 award for Outstanding Restaurateur. The Chins, shown above in 2017 during construction of Reyes Mezcalaria, also own The Osprey, Seito Sushi Baldwin Park, and The Monroe.
Rabii Saber of the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney Resort has been nominated in the Best Pastry Chef category and Evette Rahman of Sister Honey’s in Orlando is a semifinalist for Best Baker. In November, Rahman won the World Food Championship’s Dessert category for the third time.
Kabooki Sushi’s Henry Moso is on the long list as the South region’s Best Chef. The Beard Foundation groups Florida with Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Puerto Rico and Louisiana, which is to say New Orleans, in the South category. Of the 20 semifinalists for the region’s Best Chef award, six are from New Orleans. Six other Florida chefs – all from South Florida – are vying for recognition.
No Central Florida chefs have ever advanced to the finals stage.
Typically, judges, all of whom pledge that they have dined in restaurants or have “eaten the chef’s food,” will choose up to five nominees in each category. Those getting the most votes will advance to the finals. The finalists will be announced on March 16 and the winners will be recognized in a ceremony on June 13 at Chicago’s Lyric Opera.
This year will mark a return to the awards, which were suspended during the pandemic.
Note: I was a judge for the Beard Foundation Awards from their inception in 1991 but ended my relationship with the organization in 2019.
You can see the full list of nominees here.