Correction: The following nominees were incorrectly reported (perhaps an early vote of confidence!) as winners in the first run of the article. The following are in fact, nomiees. Winners announced March 19.
Wouldn’t you like to pull up a chair, pour yourself a glass of wine and chat with all seven of the James Beard Foundation nominees from Arizona at once? Well, we would. So we did. And luckily, our virtual table allows us to skirt around the awkward “party talk” and get straight to the facts on this impressive group. Find out more about the nominees, their awards and where you can pull up a seat to any one of their tables below:
Janos, Tucson. Award: Outstanding Chef, Janos Wilder. Facts: Wilder got his start cooking at a local pizza parlor as a teenager. He has three restaurants, Downtown Kitchen & Cocktails (a Southwestern-French fusion), J Bar, a Latin grill, and Janos, a luxurious desert restaurant of local flavors and many accolades.
ShinBay, Scottsdale. Award: Best New Restaurant. Facts: Chef Shinji Kurita pays great attention to detail, from creating a tranquil, traditional Japanese setting to crafting authentic Japanese gourmet with established techniques and a modern aesthetic.
Vincent’s on Camelback, Phoenix. Award: Outstanding Restaurant. Facts: Owner and chef Vincent Guerithault brought a deep knowledge of French cooking to the Southwest in the mid-1980’s, blending the two cuisines to create a very unique, upscale synthesis of flavors.
Fox Restaurant Concepts. Award: Outstanding Restaurateur, Sam Fox. Facts: Fox Restaurant Concepts began as a way to combine innovative cuisine with meticulously designed, modern settings. Today, Fox has twelve flourishing boutique restaurants and continues to grow.
John Sharpe of The Turquoise Room at La Posada Hotel & Gardens, Winslow; Kevin Binkley of Binkley’s Restaurant, Cave Creek; Silvana Salcido Esparza of Barrio Café, Phoenix. Awards: Best Chef Southwest. Facts: John Sharpe not only grows heirloom vegetables and herbs for the restaurant, but he encourages local farmers to grow food to use as well and is involved with the Slow Food movement and the Chef’s Collaborative. Kevin Binkley, who also strives to use local ingredients at his eatery – which has been compared to the finest restaurants in New York and Paris – is known for crafting very original, imaginative dishes like the Golden King Crab salad, which is stuffed into a blood orange crepe with water chestnuts, radishes, arugula and red onion marmalade. Salcido Esparazais also known for her ground-breaking cuisine, which is highly authentic Mexican fare blended with fun, unexpected ingredients, like guacamole with pomegranate seeds.
Janos and J Bar | 3770 East Sunrise Drive | Tucson, AZ | 85718
Downtown Kitchen & Cocktails | 135 South 6th Avenue | Tucson, AZ | 85701
ShinBay | 7001 North Scottsdale Road | Scottsdale, AZ | 85253
The Turquoise Room | 305 East 2nd Street | Winslow, AZ | 86047
Binkley’s Restaurant | 6920 East Cave Creek Road | Cave Creek, AZ | 85331
Barrio Café | 2814 North 16th Street | Phoenix, AZ | 85006
Vincent’s on Camelback | 3930 East Camelback Road, Suite 202 | Phoenix AZ | 85018