Nightshade Noodle Bar’s Rachel Miller Leads Local James Beard Nominees

The foundation announced its 2023 nominee list, and three Massachusetts chefs remain.

A woman with blue hair and a black button-down shirt sits at a table in a restaurant with lots of green plants in the background.

Rachel Miller of Nightshade Noodle Bar. / Photo by Adam Perri

The James Beard Foundation announced its nominees for 2023 restaurant and chef awards today, March 29, a pared-down version of the semifinalist list from January. The Beard awards, which have been given out for over three decades, are like the Oscars of the United States food world, highlighting excellent chefs, restaurants, and other hospitality industry professionals nationwide in a variety of categories.

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Recognition of the Boston area fluctuates year by year. While this year’s semifinalist list did a great job highlighting some of the region’s most impressive emerging and established talent, only a few locals have moved on to this next stage. While it’s a bummer that so many names were dropped between round one and two, the remaining folks on the list are all incredible examples of what Boston-area dining looks like today, and we can’t wait to see what happens when the winners are announced in June.

The three Massachusetts nominees:

  • Rachel Miller of Nightshade Noodle Bar in Lynn (outstanding chef nominee): Miller is holding down the fort as the only Massachusetts nominee outside of the regional section of the awards. Miller’s brilliant north-of-Boston destination restaurant (#4 on our 2022 list of Boston’s top 50 restaurants) features extravagant tasting menus that highlight seafood and flavors and techniques inspired by Vietnamese and French cooking. (And there are noodles, of course! The house-made egg noodles with caramelized garlic sauce, chili crisp, Thai basil, peanuts, and shredded beef or braised mushrooms [or both] are irresistible.) 73 Exchange St., Lynn, 781-780-9470,
  • Valentine Howell of Krasi in Boston (best chef: Northeast semifinalist): We love wine-soaked nights out with friends at this swanky Back Bay Greek spot, where Howell and the team match the lengthy Greek wine list with a hearty and flavor-packed menu of braised and rotisserie meats, several types of fresh-baked breads, beautiful vegetable dishes, and lots more. 48 Gloucester St., Back Bay, Boston, 617-536-0230,
  • Yisha Siu of Yunnan Kitchen in Boston (best chef: Northeast semifinalist): Siu and the Yunnan Kitchen team offer an eye-opening take on a regional Chinese cuisine that’s underrepresented in Boston. Yunnan, or Dian, cuisine, which hails from southwestern China, is a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, and an all-around crowd-pleaser. We can’t get enough of dishes such as the boiled pork with chili oil; fried pea flour jelly with chili powder dip; and sticky rice pancakes with condensed milk. 1721B Washington St., South End, Boston, 617-936-4123,

The foundation will announce the 2023 winners at an event in Chicago on June 5.