The James Beard Award semifinalist nominations were announced this morning, and three Pittsburgh chefs, from two restaurants, were given the nod.
Kate Lasky and Tomasz Skowronski of Apteka, and Bootsaba Tongdee of Pusadee’s Garden were all nominated for the Best Chef Mid-Atlantic award, which covers Washington DC, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
This is the third time that Lasky and Tomasz have been nominated in the category, after having been named semifinalists in both 2023 and 2022. The duo have been running the their vegan Central-and Eastern-European focused restaurant and natural wine shop since 2016, and have gotten a lot of love from national media outlets since its opening, with a visit from the Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern in 2019, and a spot on the New York Times’ 50 best restaurants in America list in 2022.
This is the first nomination for Tongdee, and Pusadee’s Garden.
The James Beard Restaurant and Chef semifinalists are recognized across 22 categories, including Outstanding Restaurateur, Outstanding Restaurant, Best New Restaurant, and Best Chef categories across the country.
Nominees will be announced on Wednesday, April 3, and the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in June in Chicago.
We’ve reached out to Lasky, Skowronski and Tongdee for their reactions, and will update when we hear back.