The James Beard Awards, considered to be the Oscars of the culinary world, annually recognizes the best chefs and restaurants in the nation.

The James Beard Foundation announced its 2020 list of national semifinalists on Wednesday, netting three nominations for San Antonio. Local James Beard nominees include Alex Paredes of Carnitas Lonja, Esaul Ramos of 2M Smokehouse and Steve McHugh of Cured, who are up for the “Best Chef: Texas” award.

In 2019, the Foundation updated its geographic categories, making Texas its own region for the best chef awards. Texas was previously included in the Southwest category with Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Oklahoma.

Despite many nominations, San Antonio chefs have yet to win a James Beard Award since the presentation ceremonies began in 1991. However, with a new category that guarantees at least one Texas victory each year, San Antonio may be closer to a win than ever before.

The Foundation will name the final five nominees for its restaurant and chef categories on March 25, and the winners will be announced at the awards gala on May 4.

*Photo Credit: Josh Huskin, Facebook

Article originally published here: Three San Antonio Chefs Score James Beard Awards Semifinalist Nominations