They are the biggest awards for the food business. The James Beard Award finalists were announced this morning and we were thrilled to see some of our local food leaders and friends make the list.
Finalists in the category of Best Chef Midwest include Michelle Gayer of Salty Tart, Paul Berglund of the Bachelor Farmer, and Lenny Russo of Heartland Restaurant & Farm Market Direct.
This is Gayer's second nomination in the Best Chef Midwest category. She was nominated twice before in the Outstanding Pastry Chef category. This is Berglund's first nomination and the fourth nomination for Chef Russo.
Amy Thielen, who has one James Beard Award under her belt was nominated both for her book The New Midwestern Table: 200 Heartland Recipes and for her TV program on the Food Network, Heartland Table.
The Perennial Plate from the newly married Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine, which won last year, was again nominated for Video Webcast on Location.
Speaking of perennial, one of the best radio shows about food continues to lead by example. The Splendid Table was nominated for Outstanding Radio Show/Audio Webcast.
The complete list of nominees is available here.