A pair of chefs from the Tri-State (South Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota) area are one step away from snagging one of the top food awards in the country.

Sanaa Abourezk of Sanaa's Gourmet Mediterranean in Sioux Falls and Shawn McKenzie from Café Cerés in Minneapolis are among the finalists for a 2023 James Beard Foundation Award.

The annual awards are given to 'individuals and/or organizations whose work is helping to create a safer, more healthful, equitable, and sustainable food world. The Awards are given for achievement in developing a global food system that is just, sustainable, and economically viable for both producers and consumers.'

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Sanaa’s Gourmet Mediterranean
Sanaa’s Gourmet Mediterranean (Google Maps)

Abourezk is one of five finalists in the 'Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)' category.

She opened Sanaa's Gourmet Mediterranean in Sioux Falls 19 years ago after attending cooking school in Florence, Italy, as well as the Cordon Bleu Baking School in Paris, France.

She has also worked as a nutrition adviser for the South Dakota Department of Health.

Cafe Ceres - Minneapolis
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Minnesota chef Shawn McKenzie is one of five finalists in the 'Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker' category.

He is the co-founder of Café Cerés, which has three locations in Minneapolis.

The 2023 winners will be announced at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony, Monday, June 5, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

The awards were established in 1990, and are named after American chef, cookbook author, and teacher James Beard, who is widely recognized as one of the first chefs to appear regularly on television.

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