James Beard Awards finalists announced

James Beard Awards finalists announced

Photo courtesy http://www.work-of-heart.net/

The James Beard foundation just announced its short list of nominees for its May 4th restaurant awards banquet. It's tough for local restaurants to compete in the national categories (judges can only vote for those restaurants where they've dined and I'm sure more Midwestern judges have eaten at coastal restaurants than the inverse) and, unfortunately, all our representatives were dropped between the semis and the finals. Still, kudos to Larry D'Amico and Richard D'Amico, D'Amico & Partners (Outstanding Restaurateur), Lucia's Restaurant (Outstanding Restaurant), Sameh Wadi, Saffron Restaurant & Lounge (Rising Star Chef of the Year), Khanh Tran, Cosmos (Outstanding Pastry Chef), and La Belle Vie (Outstanding Wine Service) for getting into the primaries.

In Best Chef Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI), we made some good strides, with several locals named in the semis:

Isaac Becker, 112 Eatery, Minneapolis Tim McKee, La Belle Vie, Minneapolis Scott Pampuch, Corner Table, Minneapolis Alexander Roberts, Restaurant Alma, Minneapolis Lenny Russo, Heartland, St. Paul, MN Stewart Woodman, Heidi's Minneapolis

Somewhat unsurpringly, last year's three nominees again made the short-list:

Isaac Becker of 112 Eatery, Tim McKee of La Belle Vie, and Alexander Roberts of Restaurant Alma are up against Gerard Craft of Niche in St. Louis and Colby Garrelts of Bluestem Kansas City, MO.

Congrats, guys! We'll be rooting for you on May 4th!

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