Two Ohio chefs tapped as finalists for James Beard Award

Jack McLaughlin

While a pair of Columbus-based chefs on the semifinalist list didn’t make the finals call of the 2024 James Beard Awards, two other Ohio chefs did.

Vinnie Cimino from Cordelia in Cleveland and Jose Salazar from Mita’s in Cincinnati were named as finalists for Best Chef: Great Lakes, a region that includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.

Only five total finalists were named. The other three are Sujan Sarkar of Indienne in Chicago, Hajime Sato of Sozai in Clawson, Michigan and Jenner Tomaska of Esme in Chicago.


Columbus chefs Avishar Barura, from Joya’s and Agni, and BJ Leiberman of Chapman’s Eat Market, Hiraeth and Ginger Rabbit, were named semifinalists for Best Chef in the Great Lakes region in January.

The winner of the Great Lakes Region will be named at a ceremony in Chicago on June 10.

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