Only 3 New Jersey chefs were named semifinalists for the prestigious 2023 James Beard Awards – and all of them are in South Jersey. Shigeru Fukuyoshi of Sagami Japanese Restaurant in Collingswood was singled out as an Outstanding Chef. The national honor will go to someone who sets “high culinary standards and has served as a positive example for other food professionals.”

Under Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic – which includes D.C, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia – the foundation recognized Merchantville-based Park Place Café and Restaurant’s Philip Manganaro, known for his foraging techniques, in Merchantville. The other honoree is Melissa McGrath of Sweet Amalia Market & Kitchen, a seasonal restaurant attached to an oyster farm in Newfield.

Finalists will be announced at the end of the month, and winners will be named on June 5. Other restaurants have made it to this stage before, including Fukuyoshi in 2019 and Joey Baldino of Zeppoli in Collingswood. Baldino was a finalist for 10 years straight, from 2012 to 2022.

March 2023
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