(KTXL) — A Sacramento chef is a semifinalist for a prestigious award. 

Craig Takehara, chef, and co-owner of Binchoyaki, is one of 20 semifinalist for a James Beard Award in the California best chef category.

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Takehara is the only semifinalist from the Sacramento area. Semifinalists are recognized across 23 categories.

Binchoyaki describes itself as a “modern Japanese style barbecue restaurant,” and its cuisine is based on a style of Japanese cooking called sumiyaki, according to its website. “Sumi” or “Bincho” translates to charcoal in Japanese and “Yaki” means grill in the language, the restaurant said.

Takehara has been in the industry for 16 years and studied the culinary arts at le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, according to his bio on the Binchoyaki website. Before bringing his passion for Japanese food to Sacramento, Takehara spent time in different parts of Japan studying Japanese cuisine. 

The James Beard Award is considered among the nation’s most prestigious honors in the food industry. The award, named after chef and food pioneer James Beard, was established and began being awarded in 1991. 

The award is given out by the James Beard Foundation, a non-profit that celebrates and supports the people behind America’s food culture and restaurant industry. 

According to the foundation, Beard was a pioneer in the culinary industry, being anointed the “Dean of American cookery” and hosting the first cooking show in 1946. He’s considered to have“nurtured a generation” of American chefs and cookbook authors. 

The nominees will be announced on March 29 and will be celebrated at the James Beard Restaurant and Chefs Awards Ceremony in Chicago on June 5. 

Bincoyaki is located at 2226 10th Street in Sacramento.