Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria Semi-Finalist for James Beard Awards Best Chef in the West!

The reign of Carlos Salgado and Taco María as the best chef and restaurant in Orange County, and one of the best in Southern California, period, continues. Just this morning, the James Beard Foundation announced its semi-finalists in various categories. And getting a slot for Best Chef in the West? None other than Salgado.

The finalists will be announced March 15 (the other OC restaurant getting a semi-finalist nod? Studio at the Montage, for its Wine Program). We’ll see how it goes: Salgado’s up against a strong field, one of the precious few Latinos nominated, and OC is still considered a backwater in America’s culinary food scene, forever in the shadow of evil L.A.—but never underestimate a Mexican, and especially Salgado, whose steely resolve is the type that can blast through all barriers.  Congrats to Salgado and the Taco María team that he’ll give all the credit to (especially his #2, Roland Rubalcava, who just had his first son—congrats!). And if you haven’t been to Taco María yet? You don’t know what life is.

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