Kansas City’s 2023 James Beard Award semifinalists

Kansas City is entering the new year with big stomachs and even bigger award nominations.

Town Company image

This is how the magic happens.

Photo via The Town Company

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Kansas City is entering the new year with big stomachs and even bigger award nominations. Seven local food + drink spots have been nominated for the 2023 James Beard Foundation’s Restaurant and Chef Awards.

These awards — established in 1990 — are one of five separate recognition programs. The 2023 Restaurant and Chef Semifinalists are recognized across 23 categories, and KC found itself in five of them.

Outstanding Chef

Johnny Leach, The Town Company, 1228 Baltimore Ave., KCMO | Leach’s mission to foster an environment that doubles as a creative meeting place is enhanced the local focus of the restaurant. Fun fact: the menu is based around a Missouri white oak burning hearth.

Outstanding Bakery

Yoli Tortilleria, 1668 Jefferson St., KCMO | When the owners noticed a tortilla void in KC, they decided to step up to the plate and take matters into their own hands — and it’s paying off.

Best Chef: Midwest

Michael Corvino, Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room, 1830 Walnut St., KCMO | This Washington native has been immersed in the culinary world since his teen years, with years of restaurant experience leading to the creation of Corvino in 2018.

Nick Goellner, The Antler Room, 2506 Holmes St., KCMO | This is Goellner’s third nomination for the award thanks to his seasonal recipes + delicious dishes.

Pam Liberda, Waldo Thai, 8431 Wornall Rd., KCMO | Born and raised in Lampang, Northern Thailand, Liberda gathered her knowledge of Northern Thai cuisine while cooking homestyle dishes alongside her mother. Now, she brings that skill set + authentic Thai food to Kansas City.

Drastic Measures photo kCtoday

Is the nomination for Outstanding Bar or Outstanding Vibes?

Photo via Drastic Measures

Outstanding Bar

Drastic Measures, 5817 Nieman Rd., Shawnee, KS | This cocktail-only bar offers a one-of-a-kind sipping experience in downtown Shawnee — boasting a frequently changing menu + stellar service.

Outstanding Hospitality

The Restaurant at 1900, 1900 Shawnee Mission Pkwy., Mission Woods, KS | From the modern interior design to the stacked team behind the scenes, this spot lives up to its nomination.

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