Sazón chef named semifinalist for James Beard Award | Ricky Allen + Cathy Griffith

Sazón chef named semifinalist for James Beard Award

One of our favorite chefs and a local celebrity: chef named semifinalist for James Beard Award

The James Beard Foundation announced Wednesday that chef Fernando Olea of Sazón is a semifinalist for Best Chef: Southwest. “It is an amazing honor to be considered for this award with all of the other fabulous chefs from the Southwest region,” Olea said. “If this nomination speaks to anything, it’s that my staff and I love to work hard every day and every evening to see the satisfaction on the faces of our guests.”

The Best Chef: Southwest region encompasses Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and Oklahoma.

“No one is more passionate about cooking and connecting with his clients [than Olea],” Lawrence Becerra, co-owner of Sazón, said in a news release. With his wife, Suzanna, and Olea, he opened Sazón on Shelby Street in 2015 to showcase Olea’s nuanced take on Mexican cuisine, especially mole. This is the fourth year that he’s nominated Olea and the restaurant.

“This recognition is long overdue,” Becerra said, “but then we might be somewhat prejudiced.”

We recommend checking out the newly reopened Sazon. Be sure to make a reservation.

Location: 221 Shelby Street
Hours: Monday- Saturday, Closed Sunday  |  Bar Service-4pm to close; Dinner 5 pm to close
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