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James Beard Award nominees include Owamni, 3 Minneapolis chefs

Owamni chef Sean Sherman joins Petite León's Jorge Guzmán and Union Hmong Kitchen's Yia Vang as Best Chef: Midwest nominees.

MINNEAPOLIS — A diverse array of Twin Cities cuisine and culture is being recognized with nominations for the 2022 James Beard Awards.

The James Beard Foundation announced four nominations for three Minneapolis restaurants, including Best New Restaurant for Owamni by the Sioux Chef, along with a nod for Best Chef: Midwest for Owamni's founder and chef, Sean Sherman.

Additional Best Chef: Midwest nominees from Minneapolis include Jorge Guzmán of Petite León and Yia Vang from Union Hmong Kitchen.

Sherman, a previous James Beard Awards honoree for his cookbooks and leadership with The Sioux Chef, expanded his longtime catering and food education business last year to include Owamni, located inside the Water Works Pavilion in Mill Ruins Park. The restaurant serves "true flavors of North America, featuring foods of Mni Sota Makoce" and prioritizes ingredients from Indigenous food producers.

"We've created a menu that doesn't have colonial ingredients. There's no dairy, no wheat flour, no cane sugar, no beef, pork or chicken," Sherman told KARE 11 in an interview last year. "We've worked really hard to create something utilizing a lot of wild foods, utilizing a lot of Native American agricultural products."

RELATED: The Sioux Chef's Indigenous restaurant Owamni is now open

Petite León executive chef and owner Jorge Guzmán is named in the Best Chef: Midwest category for a third time, after a previous nomination in 2017 for his work at Brewer's Table at Surly Brewing Co; and he was a semifinalist in the category in 2016.

Yia Vang's nomination in the Best Chef category for "pop-up experience" Union Hmong Kitchen follows numerous accolades among local publications, and also several appearances on KARE 11 Saturday.

RELATED: Chef Yia Vang from Union Hmong Kitchen demonstrates dishes from The Great Northern's Festival Eve launch party

RELATED: Chef Yia Vang's restaurant, Vinai, to open in northeast Minneapolis

Winners of the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards will be announced during a ceremony on June 13 in Chicago.

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