If you've never heard of the James Beard Awards, they're a huge deal.

Each year people from all across the country try to make the cut, but it's no easy thing. They recognize talent and achievements in multiple topics: "culinary arts, hospitality, media, and broader food system, as well as a demonstrated commitment to racial and gender equity, community, sustainability, and a culture where all can thrive."

The James Beard Foundation’s Restaurant and Chef Awards were started back in 1991 to be the nation's most prestigious honor in both culinary and food media. Just to be nominated is a huge deal. And one Lubbock chef did just that.

The awards are chosen through a committee and each award has its own committee. This year, Finn Walter from The Nicolett is a semifinalist, along with 20 other people in Texas competing for the title of Best Chef in the state. It's broken down into areas, and Finn is the only chef in West Texas who was nominated. No one else in Lubbock is up for an award besides Finn.

We'll find out who actually wins on Wednesday, April 27th, 2022, at the ceremony in New York City. You can find out more about the awards and the winners at the James Beard website.

If you want to learn more about Finn and The Nicolett, you can head over to their website or check them out at their restaurant in downtown Lubbock located at 511 Broadway. It's definitely a cool and unique place that we're happy to have here in Lubbock.

Good luck, Finn -- we're all rooting for you!

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