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Arizona Chefs Named As Semifinalists For Best Chef: Southwest

The James Beard Awards are like the Oscars of the food world, and this year, three Arizona chefs were named as semifinalists for Best Chef: Southwest.

They are Charleen Badman of FnB in Scottsdale, Kevin Binkley of Binkley’s Restaurant in Phoenix and Silvana Salcido Esparza, who was recognized this year for her work at Barrio Cafe Gran Reserva on Grand Avenue in downtown Phoenix.

Each of them has been on this list many times before as they’ve been some of the faces who have shaped Arizona’s culinary scene for years. But, that scene is not where any of them would like it to be.

All three came into KJZZ studios recently to talk more about that and how they would like to see Arizona become a real food town.

The Show's Lauren Gilger started by asking them about this most recent recognition from the James Beard Foundation.

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Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.