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These two local chefs are 2024 James Beard Awards Semifinalists

These two local chefs are 2024 James Beard Awards Semifinalists

Sav McKee

A huge congratulations to two local chefs who are being recognized for changing the Columbus food scene one incredible dish at a time.

The 2024 James Beard Awards Semifinalists are officially in, and both Avishar Barua who owns Joya’s and Agni, and BJ Lieberman who owns Chapman’s Eat Market, Ginger Rabbit, and Hiraeth, were nominated for Best Chefs in the Great Lakes Region (IL, IN, MI, OH).

Avishar Barua was recognized by the James Beard Foundation for his chef skills at Joya’s in particular, which is located at 657 High St. in Worthington. Joya’s, a day-time cafe, serves exceptional Bengali-American fusion cuisine, such as the crowd favorite Breakfast Sandwich, served on a Pav-tato roll with bacon, cheesy eggs, chutneys, and chives. Barua was featured on Season 18 of Top Chef, and beat famous chef, Bobby Flay, in the show Beat Bobby Flay in an Indian street food challenge, and he’s also been recognized in Forbes.

Photo by Leonardo Carrizo

BJ Lieberman and his restaurant, Chapman’s Eat Market, were also semifinalists in last year’s James Beard Awards in the same category as this year. Lieberman, alongside his wife Bronywn Haines, opened Chapman’s Eat Market in the former Max & Erma’s at 739 S. 3rd St. in German Village. There’s a reason it’s so difficult to get a table at Chapman’s – besides their now-two James Beard Semifinalist Awards, Chapman’s also earned a spot on the exclusive list of The New York Times’ “50 Places in America We’re Most Excited About.”


Photo via Chapman’s Instagram
Bronwyn Haines, BJ Lieberman, and their son

The 2024 James Beard finalists will be announced April 3, 2024, with a gala announcing the winners in Chicago on June 10.

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