4 talented Fil-Am chefs vying for spots in James Beard Awards finals

Filipino-American James Beard Awards
Margie Manzke (Upper left), Aaron Verzosa (Upper right), Sheldon Simeon (Lower left), and Chera Amlag (Lower right) are the four Fil-Am chefs vying for finalist spots in the prestigious James Beard Awards 2020.

Four Filipino-American chefs are vying for spots as finalists in the culinary industry’s prestigious James Beard Awards 2020.

Chefs Margarita Manzke, Chera Amlag, Sheldon Simeon, and Aaron Verzosa were named in the James Beard Foundation’s 2020 Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists list released on February 26, 2020.

Margarita Manzke of Republique (Los Angeles) also made the semis in 2019 and is a 3-time finalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef and is vying for her fourth nomination to the finals and a possible win. Manzke is one of the 20 semifinalists bidding for one of the 5 finalist spots in her category.

Vying for Best Chef Award in the Northwest & Pacific category are Chera Amlag of Hood Famous Café + Bar (Seattle), Sheldon Simeon of Lineage (Wailea, HI), and Aaron Verzosa of Archipelago (Seattle). The three Fil-Am chefs are also among the 20 semifinalists eyeing the Top 5 slots for the finals.

The five finalists per category will be announced live on social media on March 25. The James Beard Awards winners will be announced at the Gala scheduled on May 4 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

The year 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of America’s most coveted and comprehensive honors for chefs, restaurants, journalists, authors, and other leaders in the food and beverage industry.

After three consecutive nominations, Fil-Am chef Tom Cunanan of Bad Saint in Washington, D.C. finally won Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic at the James Beard Awards 2019.

Filipino writer-restaurateur Nicole Ponseca of Maharlika New York City and Chef Miguel Trinidad of Jeepney NYC were finalists for the 2019 James Beard Media Awards.

SEND GOOD LUCK in the comments below to the Fil-Am chefs vying for finalist spots in the 2020 James Beard Awards!

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Angie Quadra-Balibay
Angie is a self-confessed reformed news critic who vows she has finally found infinite value in delivering the good news. She teaches students of all ages how to make the important interesting for audiences across media platforms.