Orlando restaurant and 3 chefs named as semifinalists for James Beard Awards

One Orlando restaurant and three local chefs have been named as semifinalists in this year’s James Beard Awards.

On Wednesday, the organization announced its 2024 Restaurant and Chef Awards semifinalists.

Nominees will be announced on April 3 and winners will be announced at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards Ceremony in Chicago on June 10.

Kaya, which celebrated its grand opening in late 2022/early 2023, was nominated in the “Best New Restaurant” category. It is the only restaurant from the state of Florida that made the exclusive list.

Kaya restaurant in Orlando (Photo: Google)
Kaya restaurant in Orlando (Photo: Google)

A Filipino casual fine dining restaurant, Kaya is located in Orlando’s Mills50 district.

Three Orlando chefs were named as semifinalists for “Best Chef” in the South, which covers Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Puerto Rico. That includes Henry Moso of Kabooki Sushi, who was also named a semifinalist in 2023.

In addition to Moso, Jennifer and Mark Berdin of Kadence were also named to the list of semifinalists. Kadence is no stranger to accolades, having received one of Florida’s first MICHELIN Stars in 2022.

Established in 1990, the James Beard Foundation’s Restaurant and Chef Awards are considered among the nation’s most prestigious honors. The awards recognize exceptional talent in the culinary and food media industries.

For more information on the semifinalists, visit the James Beard Foundation Awards website.

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