Food News: Two Columbus chefs named James Beard Award semifinalists; Los Potosinos ends its run

Erin Edwards
Los Potosinos

The James Beard Foundation announced its 2020 Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists today, and two Columbus chefs made the cut, ending an eight-year drought. Barbecue purist James Anderson, owner of the food truck Ray Ray's Hog Pit, was named a semifinalist for Best Chef Great Lakes. (The Great Lakes region includes chefs from Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.) Meanwhile, Spencer Budros, co-owner of Pistacia Vera, was nominated for Outstanding Baker. The last time Columbus chefs were in contention for the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards was 2012, when chefs Richard Blondin and Kent Rigsby were named semifinalists. (Cara Mangini’s cookbook, The Vegetable Butcher, was a finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s Book Awards in 2017.) This year is the 30th anniversary of the James Beard Awards, the country’s most coveted awards for chefs, restaurants, authors and other food and beverage industry leaders. The finalists will be announced on March 25. See the list of 2020 James Beard semifinalists here.

Los Potosinos, the popular Mexican food truck known for its delicious char-grilled chicken, has ceased operation. Owner Lidia Labra made the announcement on Facebook last week, thanking her loyal customers after 11 years in business. Located at 1500 E. Long St. across from Ohio State East Hospital, the truck is now under new management and has a new name: Los Alebrijes. (Alebrijes are carvings in Mexican folk art depicting animals and imaginary creatures.) According to the Facebook announcement, the new management will keep Labra’s menu (including the grilled chicken) and expand upon it. Reached on Tuesday via instant message, Labra’s daughter said her mother had returned to Mexico to tend to family matters but hopes to restart her business next year.

The new in-house pizzeria at Studio 35 Cinema & Drafthouse (3055 Indianola Ave.) is up and running in Clintonville. Fibonacci's Pizzeria serves Neapolitan-style pizza baked in a Marra Forni oven, along with subs, salads and more.

An eatery called Yun Nan Crossing Bridge Noodle has replaced Thai Mango Asian Bistro at 2548 Bethel Rd. on the Northwest Side. Crossing-the-bridge noodles, a type of rice noodle soup, is a delicacy of the Yunnan province in Southwest China. The dish features a large bowl of hot broth accompanied on the side by a variety of meats, produce, quail eggs and rice noodles that are then added to the broth.

Downtown Lancaster’s Four Reasons Bakery & Deli has undergone an extensive renovation and name change, reopening this week as Provisions Bakery & Deli at 135 W. Main St. Owner Matt Brady, who also owns Ale House 1890 down the street, bought Four Reasons in 2018 from its original owners. The renovations include a handsome new storefront exterior, additional seating and a wall featuring wine bottles for sale. The bakery and deli is currently open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Save the date for this year’s North Market Apron Gala, featuring food from market vendors, cocktails, live entertainment and more. The market’s premier fundraising event will take place Saturday, May 16, benefiting the North Market Development Authority, the nonprofit organization that operates the historic North Market. Tickets go on sale March 1.