The James Beard Foundation announced this year’s restaurant and chef award semifinalists, celebrating the best of food. Of course, there are numerous nominations from the Beehive State.

The award is named after an American chef who authored 22 cookbooks and founded the James Beard Cooking School in the ’50s. Beard also paved the way for the first cooking show, “I Love to Eat,” which premiered on NBC in 1947.

The national 2023 semifinalist restaurants from Utah are:

Hell’s Backbone Grill & Farm

What to know: This is the restaurant’s second nomination in a row for outstanding restaurant. It’s owned by Jen Castle and Blake Spalding, who were semifinalists for the best chef category as well. The cozy spot serves organic, locally produced, regionally and seasonally appropriate cuisine. Their six-acre farm features a number of heirloom fruit trees and orchards.

Location: 20 North Highway 12, Boulder, Garfield County.

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Normal Ice Cream

What to know: Prioritizing locally sourced ingredients, this spot is nominated for outstanding bakery. The menu is a creative one, featuring flavors like Earl Grey and apricot, and creations like London Fog and Cookies Cake. Normal has many options for those who are gluten-free or vegan.

Location: 169 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City.


What to know: Representing top-notch Greek cuisine, prepared from scratch, this neighborhood restaurant was nominated for outstanding hospitality. Try the house-smoked salmon, which comes with crispy potato bites and microgreens, or Kotopoulaki, the crispy chicken wings dripping in lemon and olive oil.

Location: 402 E. 900 South #2, Salt Lake City.

Post Office Place

What to know: Expect a knowledgeable staff from this place nominated for outstanding bar. The tuna tartare and the hamachi ceviche are a must-try. Meanwhile, the happy hour at this tapas bar includes pickled eggs. This tapas bar has a selection of Japanese whisky and creative cocktail names like A Bitter Ending Is Better and Call Me By Your Name, referencing the movie with the same title.

Location: 16 W. Market St. Salt Lake City, UT.

Salt Lake City, UT

Apart from the restaurants, there are a few chefs that also made it as regional semifinalists for the James Beard Award.

  1. Briar Handly, a chef at Handle, a restaurant in Park City.
  2. From SLC Eatery are Paul Chamberlain and Logen Crew.
  3. Chefs Young-Ho Kang and Peter Kim from South Jordan restaurant, The Angry Korean.
  4. Ali Sabbah, who works at Mazza in Salt Lake City.
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