Arizona Chefs Named As Semifinalists For Best Chef: Southwest

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Monday, March 12, 2018 - 4:02pm
Updated: Monday, March 19, 2018 - 5:29pm

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(Photo by Jackie Hai - KJZZ)
Charleen Badman (left), Silvana Salcido Esparza (center) and Kevin Binkley.

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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