Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.

It's awards season for the crème de la crème of the food world. Yes, the esteemed 2022 James Beard Awards semifinalists are out, and three New Hampshire chefs are in the running for this distinguished award.

The James Beard Foundation celebrates our world of food and the culture surrounding it.  Winning a James Beard is the Oscars to Hollywood, so just being nominated is an incredibly prestigious honor recognized around the nation and world.

Let's start with "Best Chef Northeast" semifinalist, Chef David Vargas at Vida Cantina in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

According to the restaurant website, it's all about celebrating Mexican cuisine:

Chef/Owner Dave Vargas pushes Mexican cuisine to the limit, bringing bright, adventurous flavors and locally grown ingredients together on a plate. Inspired by his Mexican heritage, Vargas takes each dish to the next level with superb technique, product and creativity.

 

Chef Vargas was a semifinalist for "Best Chef Northeast" in 2020 as well.

Chef Jeff Fournier at Thompson House Eatery in Jackson, New Hampshire is also up for "Best Chef Northeast."

According to his restaurant website, his food is all about home.

The Fournier Family’s philosophy is rooted in timeless New England values of simple hospitality with an emphasis on sourcing the finest local ingredients, cooking with a passion for flavor, and serving every guest as a welcome member in their home. Chef Fournier has always prepared his menus from scratch, sourced the highest quality goods, and is dedicated to the farms that grow the beautiful ingredients he uses.

And finally...

...Chef Chris Viaud at Greenleaf Milford in Milford, New Hampshire is up for "Emerging Chef."

According to the restaurant website, our New England seasons inspire his menu.

A seasonally inspired farm to table restaurant from chef Chris Viaud  in an old historic bank in Milford, New Hampshire. Our approach to the food and drink program is inspired by the changing seasons of New England utilizing local area farms, foragers and fishmongers.

So let's hear three cheers for our three New Hampshire chefs as they wait and see if they make the next round on March 16, 2022.  Good luck guys!

Have you eaten at any of these restaurants?

Click here to learn more about the James Beard Foundation and a list of all the semifinalists around New England and the country.

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