Skip to main content

Four Minnesota restaurants, two chefs and one restaurateur have been named as semifinalists for this year's prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards.

The shortlist for this year's awards were released on Wednesday, with Minneapolis' Owamni and Union Hmong Kitchen among those nominated for Best New Restaurant.

Owamni head chef Sean Sherman, known as The Sioux Chef, has also been named in the Best Chef Midwest category along with Union Hmong Kitchen's Yia Vang, Jorge Guzmán, Petite León in Minneapolis, and Erik Skaar of Vann in Spring Park.

Sherman has won numerous plaudits for his first restaurant serving Indigenous cuisine, which opened last July at 420 1st St. S.

Here are the Minnesota nominees:

Best new restaurant:

  • Owamni, Minneapolis
  • Union Hmong Kitchen, Minneapolis

Best Chef Midwest

  • Jorge Guzmán, Petite León, Minneapolis
  • Sean Sherman, Owamni, Minneapolis
  • Yia Vang, Union Hmong Kitchen, Minneapolis
  • Erik Skaar, Vann, Spring Park, MN

Outstanding restaurateur

  • Kim Bartmann

Named in the outstanding restaurateur category is Kim Bartmann, who has built herself a mini-empire of acclaimed restaurants across the Twin Cities, with her portfolio including Barbette, Trapeze, Red Stag Supperclub, Tiny Diner, Book Club, Bread & Pickle, Gigi's Cafe, and Pat's Tap.

But her company was the subject of an investigation at the beginning of the pandemic over overtime wages that were owed to staff prior to the COVID-related shutdowns in spring 2020.

It culminated with a $230,000 settlement being reached with the Minnesota Attorney General's Office in 2021, with Bartmann neither admitting nor denying wrongdoing as part of the agreement, per MPR News.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-05-26 at 10.28.52 AM

2 years since George Floyd's killing, Biden signs exec order on policing

The signing comes on the second anniversary of Floyd's murder by police in south Minneapolis.


Lutsen Mountains owner to buy Michigan ski resort

The Skinner family has operated alpine ski areas in the Midwest for 60 years.


Mayo Clinic, CDC address concerns over monkeypox in the US

The CDC does not currently think there is a significant threat to the general public.

police tape

Charges: Man killed brother, left body in homemade camper for 7 months

James Robert Hess, 48, faces second-degree murder charges for the death of his 52-year-old brother, William Harold Hess Jr.


Minnesota forecast: Hot, humid and severe storm chances

Bring Me The News meteorologist Sven Sundgaard says right now the best chance for storms looks like Sunday/Sunday night.

Thai Cultural Council of Minnesota

Minnesota's biggest Thai festival to be hosted in front of State Capitol

The Thai New Year, or Songkran, is one of the most celebrated holidays in Thailand.

police tape, crime scene

Man dies after being shot in the head in St. Cloud

Investigators believe the suspects fled the scene in a vehicle.


Uvalde school massacre: MN Democrats call for action, Republicans prayers

The tragedy in Texas has sparked different reactions from Minnesota's congressional delegation.

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

St. Cloud man fires shot at police in hours-long standoff, surrenders

Shawn Lawrence Jacobs, 37, was arrested just before 4 p.m. Tuesday after he surrendered.

New baby zebra at the Como Zoo.

St. Paul's Como Zoo welcomes new baby zebra

The baby is yet to be named, and the zoo is planning an event for visitors to help with the decision.

Screen Shot 2022-05-25 at 11.06.51 AM

Pilfered peony plant prompts police probe

The peony, named Patrick, was taken from Wayzata City Hall gardens.


Screen Shot 2022-02-23 at 12.17.12 PM

3 Minnesota chefs, 1 restaurant named as James Beard Award finalists

There was no spot in the final for restaurateur Kim Bartmann, whose nomination sparked controversy.

Screen Shot 2020-02-26 at 9.49.11 AM

4 Minnesota chefs, 1 restaurant named James Beard Award finalists

Gavin Kaysen's Demi is in the running for Best New Restaurant.

11 Twin Cities chefs, restaurants among James Beard semifinalists

Jamie Malone and her Grand Cafe are among the nominees.

Screen Shot 2019-02-27 at 11.43.18 AM

13 Twin Cities restaurants, chefs nominated for James Beard Awards

Just remember this the next time someone complains about Midwestern food.

Screen Shot 2020-02-26 at 9.49.11 AM

3 Twin Cities restaurants, 8 chefs nominated for James Beard Awards

The semifinalists for the prestigious awards have been announced.

Screen Shot 2019-05-06 at 9.49.33 PM

Young Joni chef is a winner at James Beard Awards

Young Joni chef is a winner at James Beard Awards

4 Twin Cities chefs up for James Beard Awards

Chef/author Sean Sherman is also nominated in the book category.

The Sioux Chef wins James Beard Award

Sean Sherman's book is the winner of the food industry Oscars.