Tucson’s own Don Guerra of Barrio Bread wins a James Beard Award | Business

Tucson baker Don Guerra won the prestigious James Beard Award for outstanding baker on Monday, June 13, during ceremonies held in Chicago.

This was the third try for Guerra, the baker/owner of the popular Barrio Bread at 18 S. Eastbourne Ave., who had been nominated for the prestigious honor — think foodiverse’s Academy Awards — in 2019 and in 2020.

In addition to the bakery, Guerra is a partner in Barrio Charro, 3699 N. Campbell Ave., and downtown’s The Monica, both of them ventures with El Charro’s Flores family.

The win was the first James Beard for a Tucson foodie since El Guero Canelo’s Daniel Contreras won for a James Beard American Classics award in 2018.

Guerra and his bread, made from locally sourced heritage grains, which was recently featured in the New York Times in a story written by James Beard Award-winning food author John Birdsall.

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“I feel pretty good about” the nomination, said Guerra earlier this year, who in addition to his bakery and restaurant ventures also runs Barrio Grain, where Guerra creates blends of flours using heritage wheats and ancient grains that he uses in his bakery and supplies to other local makers.

“I think I have accomplished a lot since last year and it’s really staying true to my mission to build and strengthen the local grain economy,” he said.

Boca Tacos y Tequila chef-owner Maria Mazon and Tito & Pep chef-owner John Martinez were semifinalists in this year’s James Beard contest.

Both Guerra and Mazon were recently featured in the “Top Chef: Houston” finale, filmed in Tucson.

Photos: Don Guerra, of Barrio Bread, wins James Beard Award for outstanding baker

Don Guerra, Barrio Bread

Don Guerra, owner of Barrio Bread, 18 S. Eastbourne Ave. in Tucson, Ariz. places loaves of bread into baskets on June 2. Guerra won the James Beard Award for outstanding baker on Monday.


Mamta Popat, Arizona Daily Star

Don Guerra, Barrio Bread

Don Guerra, owner of Barrio Bread, 18 S. Eastbourne Ave. in Tucson. rolls out dough in preparation for baking on June 2. Guerra won the James Beard Award for outstanding baker on Monday.


Mamta Popat, Arizona Daily Star

Don Guerra, Barrio Bread

Don Guerra, owner of Barrio Bread, 18 S. Eastbourne Ave. in Tucson, Ariz. brings out racks filled with dough in preparation for baking on June 2. Guerra won the James Beard Award for outstanding baker on Monday.


Mamta Popat, Arizona Daily Star

Don Guerra, Barrio Bread

Don Guerra, owner of Barrio Bread, 18 S. Eastbourne Ave. in Tucson, Ariz. puts the finishing touches on the heritage loaf before baking on June 2. Guerra won the James Beard Award for outstanding baker on Monday.


Mamta Popat, Arizona Daily Star

Don Guerra, Barrio Bread

Don Guerra, owner of Barrio Bread, 18 S. Eastbourne Ave. in Tucson, Ariz. pulls out a rack of baked bread on June 2. Guerra won the James Beard Award for outstanding baker on Monday.


Mamta Popat, Arizona Daily Star

Don Guerra, Barrio Bread

Don Guerra, owner of Barrio Bread, 18 S. Eastbourne Ave. in Tucson, Ariz. places loaves of bread on racks for cooling on June 2. Guerra won the James Beard Award for outstanding baker on Monday.


Mamta Popat, Arizona Daily Star

Don Guerra, Barrio Bread

A loaf of bread lays on a rack after baking by Don Guerra, owner of Barrio Bread, 18 S. Eastbourne Ave. in Tucson, Ariz. on June 2. Guerra won the James Beard Award for outstanding baker on Monday.


Mamta Popat, Arizona Daily Star

Don Guerra, Barrio Bread

Don Guerra, owner of Barrio Bread, 18 S. Eastbourne Ave. in Tucson, Ariz. takes loaves of bread out of the oven on June 2. Guerra won the James Beard Award for outstanding baker on Monday.


Mamta Popat, Arizona Daily Star

Don Guerra, Barrio Bread

Don Guerra, owner of Barrio Bread, 18 S. Eastbourne Ave. in Tucson, Ariz. scores loaves of bread before baking on June 2. Guerra won the James Beard Award for outstanding baker on Monday.


Mamta Popat, Arizona Daily Star

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at [email protected] On Twitter @Starburch

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