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Three Tucson chefs named 2022 James Beard Award semifinalists

Maria Mazon, Don Guerra and John Martinez selected
Boca Tacos chef to compete on Top Chef
Posted at 1:34 PM, Feb 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 11:10:52-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Three Tucson chefs have been named semifinalists in the 2022 James Beard Awards.

According to a James Beard Foundation press release, the semifinalists include:

Don Guerra of Barrio Bread, up for Outsanding Baker

  • John Martinez, Tito & Pep, up for Best Chef: Southwest
  • Maria Mazon, BOCA Tacos y Tequila, up for Best Chef: Southwest.
  • Don Guerra, Barrio Bread, up for Outstanding Baker

“Since Tucson’s designation as the first UNESCO City of Gastronomy in December of 2015, recognition for the unique culture, environment and talent here in Southern Arizona has continued to justifiably increase,” Dan Gibson, senior director of communications at Visit Tucson said in a statement. “It’s certainly an honor to see Tucsonans honored with nominations, and hopefully we’ll be able to see a few of these three make it to the finals in Chicago.”

According to Visit Tucson, the next round of finalists will be announced March 16.

Phil Villarreal is the senior real-time editor for KGUN 9. He is also a digital producer and host of "Phil on Film" seen weekly on Good Morning Tucson, Phil moved to KGUN after 17 years with the Arizona Daily Star. He is married and has four children. Share your story ideas and important issues with Phil by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.