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Kansas City’s 2024 James Beard Award semifinalists

See what awards local chefs, restaurants + bars may walk away with at this year’s “Food Oscars.”

KCtoday_The Campground

Sign me up for any camp with an aperitivo cocktail bar.

Photo via The Campground

Roll out the red carpet, food lovers (and watch the crumbs). On Jan. 24, the semifinalists were announced for the 2024 James Beard Awards — one of the culinary world’s most prestigious prizes — and Kansas City stars are shining bright.

You’ll find four local chefs, one restaurant + one bar up for awards based on excellence and other factors like commitment to the community. But it’s an honor just to be nominated — getting on the James Beard radar is a game changer for any chef or restaurant, no matter how long they’ve been around.

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, April 3, when the finalists will be announced. A Monday, June 10 ceremony in Chicago will reveal the winners.

Here’s the local flavor:

Town Company image

This is how the magic happens.

Photo via The Town Company

2024 finalists

Jeff Workman, The Campground | Nominated for: Emerging Chef (National) | This Stockyard District spot is serving up local, foraged, fished + hunted cuisine under the knife of a former Corvino Super Club sous chef.

Drastic Measures | Nominated for: Outstanding Bar (National) | Still serving the best in out-there cocktails, this 2023 finalist is making an appearance yet again. It specializes in the adventurous but unpretentious — like the Thots N’ Prayers, a curry infused mezcal, cacao, mango + lime creation.

Affäre | Nominated for: Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program (National) | Perfect pairing is no joke at this upscale German eatery with a focus on seasonal selections.

Johnny Leach, The Town Company | Nominated for: Best Chef (Midwest) | Repeat nominee Leech has lit a fire on KC’s food scene thanks to the updated Midwestern cuisine emerging from the restaurant’s white oak burning hearth.

Katie Liu-Sung, Chewology | Nominated for: Best Chef (Midwest) | The contemporary Taiwanese eatery has earned regional acclaim for Liu-Sung’s handcrafted gyoza using local + sustainable farm products.

Romain Monnoyeur, Westport Cafe | Nominated for: Best Chef (Midwest) | This bistro + cocktail bar introduces local eaters to a French palate with Monnoyeur’s elevated European plates.

Past winners to visit

Yoli Tortilleria KCtoday

Home of the “Outstanding Bakery” James Beard Award.

Photo by KCtoday

Yoli Tortilleria | This starchy paradise, specializing in artisan stone ground torillas, took home the highest honors with last year’s Outstanding Bakery award.

Michael Corvino, Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room | Nominated for last year’s Best Chef: Midwest, this Washington native has staked his claim in the Heartland’s food scene with the creation of Corvino in 2018.

Nick Goellner, The Antler Room | Last year marked another award season, another nomination for this three-time Best Chef: Midwest nominee who specializes in adventurous seasonal flavors.

Pam Liberda, Waldo Thai | Authentic Thai food + Kansas City = a match made in heaven, thanks to last year’s Best Chef: Midwest nominee Liberda, who will soon be bringing homestyle dishes to KC Current matches.

The Restaurant at 1900 | A sleek setting and unforgettable service made this local spot a no-brainer for last year’s Outstanding Hospitality semifinalists.

Who’s going next?

Now we want to hear about your tastes. Are there restaurants or local chefs you think deserve some more love? Send us an email and let us know about the unrecognized award-worthy meals.

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