Tucson is no stranger to award-winning chefs and restaurants, and now there’s a possibility it’ll keep on growing very soon.
On Wednesday, February 23, the James Beard Foundation announced their 2022 Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists — three Tucson chefs made the list.
This year, the three nominees to root for are:
- John Martinez, Tito & Pep, up for Best Chef: Southwest
Maria Mazon, BOCA Tacos y Tequila, up for Best Chef: Southwest
Don Guerra, Barrio Bread, up for Outstanding Baker
For years, it’s been an exciting time in the culinary scene, but now the city has something new to brag about — three consecutive years now that a Tucsonan was nominated. The Awards kicked off in 1991 and are considered to be the highest honors for a chef, restaurant, baker, or bar to receive in the U.S.
Don Guerra of Barrio Bread
This is the third nomination for Don Guerra of Barrio Bread and grabbing a loaf or even a slice of his creations is a must if you’re a local.
Also, be sure to check out his most recent venture, Barrio Charro — a collaboration with chef Carlotta Flores of Si Charro Restaurants.
John Martinez of Tito & Pep
John Martinez opened up Tito & Pep back in 2018 and within less than a month it grew into one of the most beloved restaurants in Tucson. Stop on by and help him celebrate his very first nomination.
Martinez shared the following about the nomination on Facebook:
“Honored and excited to be nominated along with some amazing Tucson chefs.”
Maria Mazon of BOCA Tacos y Tequila
This is Maria Mazon’s second nomination for Best Chef, Southwest and as of late, it’s been a wild ride for the chef. From being a contestant on Top Chef, to partnering with Estrella Jalisco, and then opening a tortilla and gift shop, this nomination is another accomplishment to add to her list.
Mazon shared the following on Facebook:
“I’m so proud and honored…. but this year, Tucson is rocking. Congratulations to Don Guerra and John Martinez, and ME.”
Restaurant and Chef Awards nominees will be revealed on Wednesday, March 16 in Scottsdale, and the winners will be celebrated at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony on Monday, June 13 in Chicago, Illinois.
For more information on this year’s nominations, visit jamesbeard.org.