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It wasn’t Austin’s night at the James Beard Foundation Awards. The city boasted two of the five nominees for Best Chef: Southwest at Monday night’s awards, but Barley Swine chef-owner Bryce Gilmore and Olamaie chef-owner Michael Fojtasek were beat out by Alex Seidel of Mercantile in Denver.
This was the sixth consecutive year Gilmore attended the awards as a finalist and the first such appearance by Fojtasek.
Gilmore and Fojtasek did not enter the small fraternity of three Austin chefs (Tyson Cole, Paul Qui and Aaron Franklin) who previously have won the award, but their two restaurants have taken top honors in the Austin360 Dining Guide four of the past five years.
Seidel also beat out chefs Steve McHugh of Cured in San Antonio and Martín Rios of Restaurant Martín in Santa Fe.
Earlier in the evening, Otoko failed to take home the prize for restaurant design.