These Michigan chefs and restaurants made the James Beard Awards semifinalist list

The Detroit News

The James Beard Foundation Wednesday released its long list of semifinalists for the annual Restaurant and Chef Awards, and several Michigan chefs and restaurants made the cut in both national and regional categories.

Sandy Levine, who owns Freya and Chartreuse restaurants in Detroit and the Oakland cocktail lounge in Ferndale, was one of 20 semifinalists on the Outstanding Restaurateur list.

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People dine at Freya in Detroit on May 7, 2022.

Hajime Sato of Sozai sushi restaurant in Clawson was listed in another national category, Outstanding Chef.

Chef Amado Lopez of Casa Amado Taqueria in Berkley was listed in the Emerging Chef category.

The Outstanding Bakery category named Detroit’s Good Cakes and Bakes as one of the 20 semifinalists in that category. In 2022, Detroit’s Warda Patisserie took home the final prize for Outstanding Pastry Chef.

The Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program semifinalist list includes Spencer from Ann Arbor, but Michigan was shut out of the Outstanding Bar category.

Baobab Fare's Mamba Hamissi and Nadia Nijimbere pose for the camera in front of their store's name, Baobab Fare.

Several Michigan chefs were listed in the Best Chefs: Great Lakes category, which includes people from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. Here they are:

Omar Anani of Saffron De Twah in Detroit

Abra Berens of Granor Farm in Three Oaks

Norberto Garita of El Barzon in Detroit

Andy Hollyday of Selden Standard in Detroit

Ji Hye Kim of Miss Kim in Ann Arbor

Hamissi Mamba and Nadia Nijimbere of Baobab Fare in Detroit

Michael Ransom of Ima Izakaya in Detroit

Sarah Welch of Marrow in Detroit

The final list of nominees will be announced March 29 and the winners will be honored at an awards ceremony June 5 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Visit for more information.