Hugo Ortega, Tracy Vaught nominated for James Beard Awards


Houston restaurant stars Hugo Ortega and Tracy Vaught are both up for James Beard Awards this year. The husband and wife duo have been nominated in different categories for their Houston restaurants: Hugo’s, Caracol, and Backstreet Cafe. Ortega was nominated for Best Chef Southwest; he was previously nominated for this award in this category. Vaught was nominated for Outstanding Restaurateur; this is her first time being nominated.

Ortega, a celebrated chef and author, started out as a dishwasher and busboy at Backstreet Cafe (which has been started by Vaught). He eventually became the executive chef of that restaurant, and he and Vaught married. Now they also have Hugo’s Restaurant (one of my favorite places in Houston) and the more recent Caracol.

Congratulations and good luck!


The 2016 James Beard Awards Gala will be held at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on Monday, May 2. The Foundation’s Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner will take place at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City on Tuesday, April 26.

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SOURCE: The 2016 JBF Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists

SOURCE: Another big year for Houston in James Beard Awards: Semifinalists for the restaurant Oscars are . . .

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