Two Austin chefs are one step closer to being named the best chef in the Texas from the James Beard Foundation.
Until this year, chefs in Texas competed against chefs throughout the Southwest region, but this is the first year that the awards will single out a best chef in the Lone Star State.
In February, 20 semifinalists from Texas were announced, including three in Austin: Michael Fojtasek of Olamaie, the No. 1 restaurant in the 2019 Austin360 Dining Guide; Kevin Fink of Emmer & Rye, the No. 1 restaurant in the 2018 dining guide; and Iliana de la Vega of El Naranjo.
On Monday, both Fink and Fojtasek learned they were finalists, along with Anita Jaisinghani, the chef behind Indika and Pondicheri in Houston; San Antonio's Steve McHugh of Cured; and Trong Nguyen of Crawfish & Noodles in Houston. The Beard Foundation announced the finalists in a livestream on Twitter.
The final winners will be announced Sept. 25 from Chicago, but the organization hasn’t announced in what format, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
RELATED: Matthew Odam’s 2019 Austin360 Dining Guide