Downtown Cincinnati restaurant nominated for Best Restaurant in the country

Elaine Uykimpang Bentz and Erik Bentz.
Elaine Uykimpang Bentz and Erik Bentz.(Sam Greene/The Enquirer)
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 10:23 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (Enquirer) - Cincinnati restaurants and chefs scored big in the semifinalist round of the 2023 James Beard Awards, according to our media partners at the Enquirer.

The James Beard Awards are widely considered the Oscars of the restaurant world.

It’s no doubt a welcome change for a city with a culinary scene often overlooked and underrepresented.

Jose Salazar’s Downtown restaurant Mita’s was nominated for Best Restaurant in the United States.

Nolia Kitchen, a Southern-themed restaurant from New Orleans transplant Jeffery Harris, was nominated for Best New Restaurant in the United States.

Elaine Uykimpang Bentz, of Cafe Mochiko, in East Walnut Hills, was nominated for Outstanding Chef or Baker in the U.S.

Two local chefs are among those who will compete for the title of Best Chef, Great Lakes, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.

Francisco Alfaro, the chef de cuisine at Court Street’s Mid-City Restaurant, earned a nomination.

Hideki and Yuko Harada, the chef/owners of Kiki in College Hill, were also nominated.

Finalists for the award will be announced on Wednesday, March 29, and winners will be celebrated at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards Ceremony on Monday, June 5, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

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