ASHEVILLE – The road to the James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony in Chicago has ended for four Western North Carolina restaurants and chefs.

On April 3, the James Beard Foundation, a nonprofit organization, announced its 2024 Restaurant and Chef Award finalists with no Western North Carolina nominees on the list.

The Market Place, at 20 Wall St., has been open for 45 years in downtown Asheville.

The Market Place, at 20 Wall St., has been open for 45 years in downtown Asheville.

On Jan. 24, the semifinalists were announced and included four WNC restaurants and chefs on the list: The Market Place (Asheville) and The Restaurant at Gideon Ridge Inn (Blowing Rock) in the category of Outstanding Restaurant and Jason Sellers, chef and owner of Plant (Asheville), and Kanlaya “Gun” Supachana, chef and owner of Dalaya Thai Cuisine (Sylva) for Best Chef: Southeast.

The Foundation considers Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia as the Southeast region.

In 1990, the James Beard Awards was established with the first award presented in 1991.

Dalaya Thai Cuisine's Khao Soi, made with egg noodles in a Chiang Mai coconut curry soup with dark meat chicken, crispy egg noodles, pickled mustard greens, shallots, sweet soy sauce and chili oil.Dalaya Thai Cuisine's Khao Soi, made with egg noodles in a Chiang Mai coconut curry soup with dark meat chicken, crispy egg noodles, pickled mustard greens, shallots, sweet soy sauce and chili oil.

Dalaya Thai Cuisine’s Khao Soi, made with egg noodles in a Chiang Mai coconut curry soup with dark meat chicken, crispy egg noodles, pickled mustard greens, shallots, sweet soy sauce and chili oil.

Dubbed the Oscars of the food world, the awards program pays homage to James Beard, an American chef who made great strides as the pioneer of on-air cooking as a television show host, cookbook author and teacher.

Today, the prestigious award celebrates “exceptional talent and achievement in the culinary arts, hospitality, media, and broader food system, as well as a demonstrated commitment to racial and gender equity, community, sustainability, and a culture where all can thrive.”

The James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards Ceremony will be on June 10, hosted at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

View the full list of finalists at jamesbeard.org.

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Tiana Kennell is the food and dining reporter for the Asheville Citizen Times, part of the USA Today Network. Email her at [email protected] or follow her on Instagram @PrincessOfPage. Please support this type of journalism with a subscription to the Citizen Times.

This article originally appeared on Asheville Citizen Times: 2024 James Beard Award restaurant, chef finalists announced

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