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James Beard Award 2014 Finalists Announced

James Beard Award 2014 Finalists Announced

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The James Beard Foundation announced the finalist nominees for the broadcast, journalism, book, chef, and restaurant awards this morning in Chicago. Two of the most coveted awards: The James Beard Humanitarian of the Year award and Lifetime Achievement Awards will be going to Matt Haley from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and Sirio Maccioni of Le Cirque in New York, respectively. The James Beard awards are highly coveted by chefs, writers, restaurateurs, and considered the equivalent of getting an Oscar for their contributions to the culinary world.

“We are excited to return to Chicago for this year’s finalist announcement, and The Publican, our 2013 Outstanding Chef Award-winner Paul Kahan’s restaurant, is the perfect setting as we celebrate the city’s thriving culinary industry,” said Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation.

The best new restaurant category nominees are Betony in New York, Carbone in New York, Coqueta in San Francisco, Estela in New York and Peche Seafood Grill in New Orleans. For the younger nominees (under age 30), James Beard recognizes the Rising Star Chef of the Year. The nominees are Jimmy Bannos Jr. of the Purple Pig in Chicago, Katie Button of Curate in North Carolina, Jessica Largey of Manresa in California, David Posey of Blackbird in Chicago and Blaine Wetzel from The Willows Inn on Lummi Island in Washington.

For Best Chef in New York, it was no surprise that April Bloomfield of the Spotted Pig, Dan Kluger of ABC Kitchen, Marc Ladner of Del Posto, Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto, and Michael White of Marea received nominations.

Outstanding Pastry Chef nods went to Dominique Ansel of Ansel’s Bakery, Dana Cree of Blackbird in Chicago, Belinda Leong of b. patisserie in San Francisco, Dahlia Narvaez of Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles, and Christina Tossi of Momofuku in New York.

For those who have been in the business for 10 years or more, the nominees for Best Restaurant are: Hearth in New York, Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham, Ala., The Slanted Door in San Francisco, Spiaggia in Chicago, and wd~50 in New York.

And finally, there is the coveted Outstanding Chef award. These nominees are households names who have been working in the business for 5 or more years: Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern, Sean Brock of McCrady’s in Charleston, S.C., Suzanne Goin of Lucques in Los Angeles, David Kinch of Manresa in Los Gatos, California, Nancy Silverton of Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles, and Marc Vetri of Vetri in Philadelphia.

Check out the full list of nominees here.

Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her of Twitter @JoannaFantozzi

Blumenthal, Kennedy Among 2014 James Beard Foundation Cookbook Award-Winners

The James Beard Foundation announced the 2014 winners of its Book, Broadcast, and Journalism awards at a dinner on Friday, May 2 that saw British chef/restaurateur Heston Blumenthal win Cookbook of the Year for Historic Heston (Bloomsbury) and Mexican cooking authority Diana Kennedy inducted into the Cookbook Hall of Fame, among other awards.

Random House had a good night, taking home awards in five of 13 cookbook categories between Random, Knopf, and Ten Speed Press. Cookbook authors were also represented among the winners of the broadcast and new media categories: Ina Garten won for Outstanding Personality/Host for Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics, while Martha Stewart was awarded for Martha Stewart&rsquos Cooking School. And in the journalism categories, David Chang&rsquos food journal, Lucky Peach, took home five awards for writing from John Birdsall, Lisa Hanawalt, John Jeremiah Sullivan, Francis Lam, and Fuchsia Dunlop (Dunlop also took home a cookbook award for Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking).

A full list of the cookbook winners follows more information is available at the Foundation&rsquos website. The winners of the remaining 2014 JBF awards&mdashincluding awards for best chefs, restaurants, wine programs, and more&mdashwill be announced at a ceremony tonight at Lincoln Center emceed by Ted Allen.

Cookbook of the Year: Historic Heston by Heston Blumenthal (Bloomsbury)

Cookbook Hall of Fame: Diana Kennedy (The Cuisines of Mexico The Art of Mexican Cooking)

American Cooking: The New Midwestern Table: 200 Heartland Recipes by Amy Thielen (Random)

Baking and Dessert: The Art of French Pastry by Jacquy Pfeiffer with Martha Rose Shulman (Knopf)

Beverage: The Cocktail Lab: Unraveling the Mysteries of Flavor and Aroma in Drink, with Recipes by Tony Conigliaro (Ten Speed)

Cooking from a Professional Point of View: Historic Heston by Heston Blumenthal (Bloomsbury)

Focus on Health: Gluten-Free Girl Every Day by Shauna James Ahern with Daniel Ahern (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

General Cooking: Smoke: New Firewood Cooking by Tim Byres (Rizzoli)

International: Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking by Fuchsia Dunlop (W.W. Norton)

Photography: René Redzepi: A Work in Progress by Ali Kurshat Altinsoy, Ditte Isager, René Redzepi, Lars Williams, and the Noma Team (Phaidon)

Reference and Scholarship: Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine One Plate at a Time by Adrian Miller (Univ. of North Carolina)

Single Subject: Culinary Birds: The Ultimate Poultry Cookbook by John Ash with James O. Fraioli (Running Press)

Vegetable Focused and Vegetarian: Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison (Ten Speed)

Writing and Literature: Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss (Random)

Here's How the James Beard Restaurant & Chef Awards Committee Is Selected

James Beard Awards season is in full swing: the "long list" of James Beard Awards semifinalists was announced last week, with finalists nods to be revealed on March 18. But how does the Beard Foundation select the restaurants and chefs it honors? The semifinalists and finalists are selected by an elite committee made of restaurant critics, magazine editors, food journalists, and cookbook writers across the country.

The members of the Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee are listed below, and to find out how the committee functions, Eater spoke with its chairman, the Seattle Times' Providence Cicero. According to Cicero, members are selected for their depth of knowledge in the restaurant industry and their ethics: "The idea is to find an expert, very knowledgable about the restaurants in their region . who also ha[s] the journalistic distance" from the chefs. This year's Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee is:

James Beard 2014 Restaurant & Chefs Awards Committee

· Tina Antolini (National Public Radio)
· Michael Bauer (San Francisco Chronicle)
· Providence Cicero (Chair, Seattle Times)
· Jennifer V. Cole (Southern Living)
· John T. Edge (Center for the Study of Southern Culture)
· Adam Erace
· Ian Froeb (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
· Jeff Houck (Tampa Tribune)
· Cheryl Alters Jamison
· Kate Krader (Food & Wine)
· Corby Kummer (The Atlantic)
· Christiane Lauterbach (Atlanta Magazine/Knife & Fork)
· Jordana Rothman
· Patricia Sharpe (Texas Monthly)
· Tom Sietsema (Washington Post)
· Phil Vettel (Chicago Tribune)
· Irene Virbila (Los Angeles Times)

Members of the Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee serve staggered terms of one to three years. Their first role, as defined in the by-laws, is to create a list "with approximately 20 semifinalists in each category." That list is then distributed online to "a voting body of over 300 previous James Beard Restaurant & Chef Award winners 250 panelists divided evenly among 10 regions . and 17 members of the Restaurant and Chef Award subcommittee." Every vote counts equally, and the five semifinalists with the most votes become the nominees.

If the Beard Awards are the highest honor for food and beverage professionals in America — and many contend that they are — the members of the committee hold a serious responsibility. But is a panel of journalists really the best group to be deciding the fates of chefs who in many ways they've already judged in their reviews? Does a bad review mean an award is impossible? And since the identities are a matter of public record, what prevents restaurants from giving committee members VIP experiences that might not necessarily reflect a typical service?

Committee chair Providence Cicero sheds some light on how the committee was selected and the rules that govern them. In the Q&A below, Cicero explains the importance of the Foundation's conflict of interest policies, having journalistic distance, and the fine line between the desire for a transparent selection process and the danger of restaurants wooing committee members. Here's what she had to say:

Can you tell me about how the Foundation selected the committee?

The committee is actually self-selecting. There's an Awards Committee made up of all the chairs of the different committees. They approve the members of each committee, but in practice, the committees are all self-selecting.

So there are specific terms, and when terms are up and people step down, the committee looks through the universe of — in our case they tend to be restaurant critics, food journalists, cookbook writers — we look at the whole landscape and make recommendations, and then we approach people to see if people are interested. Then the committee votes on new members and that's all ratified by the Awards Committee. . I have no idea how it got started, who selected the first group.

What is it that the committee is looking for in its members?

I think we're looking for knowledge of the industry. It's why we seek out those journalists in particular who cover the industry, who are bound by journalistic ethics (in terms of not taking free meals) but the main criteria is people who are very very familiar with the industry. It's broken down regionally, there are committee members who represent the different regions. The idea is to find an expert, very knowledgable about the restaurants in their region. People who eat out a lot, who write about it, who also have the journalistic distance.

There are actual conflict of interest rules. You can't have a business relationship with chefs or restaurants. If you're currently working on a cookbook with a chef, you could not be on the committee until it was done.

Why is the list of the committee members something the Foundation's willing to share?

We don't promote our public involvement, but our names are on the record. The judges are also asked not to promote their role. Some of the journalists are required by their publication to disclose their voting role. The idea is that none of us want to be putting ourselves out there, we don't want [committee members] to be perceived as soliciting extra attention or free meals or anything like that. We want to keep a low profile, and we ask the judges to do the same for the same reason.

Is this a new level of transparency for the Foundation?

it's been like that for several years. It was an effort at complete transparency so that there were no misconceptions about how the awards worked. The committees do their job of selecting independently of the Foundation. I think it goes back to 2006 …. back when Dorothy Hamilton was in charge of things. That effort of getting transparency and by-laws and setting conflict of interest rules and term limits, it's just the kind of best practices that nonprofits and awards organizations want to do.

UPDATE: 2/26 8:20am: A representative from the James Beard Foundation has sent the following clarifications: "The Restaurant & Chef Committee begins the selection process only after a national call for entries which this year amounted to over 38,000 entries. And the nominees and finalist are voted on by over 600 people, not strictly an elite committee. In the theme of transparency, we wanted to clear that up."

Beard Foundation announces best-cookbook nominations

What was your favorite cookbook of 2014? On Tuesday the James Beard Foundation announced its nominations in a dozen categories, ranging from baking and desserts to health-oriented.

Among the big names receiving nominations are South Carolina chef Sean Brock, star bakers Dorie Greenspan and Alice Medrich, three-star Italian chef Massimo Bottura, popular blogger David Lebovitz, London’s revolutionary Yotam Ottolenghi and Michael Ruhlman, author of 19 cookbooks.

The cookbook of the year award winner and the Cookbook Hall of Fame inductee will be announced April 24.

2015 James Beard Foundation Book Awards

American cooking: “Heritage,” Sean Brock “The New England Kitchen: Fresh Takes on Seasonal Recipes,” Erin Byers Murray and Jeremy Sewall “Texas on the Table: People, Places, and Recipes Celebrating the Flavors of the Lone Star State,” Terry Thompson-Anderson.

Baking and dessert: “Baking Chez Moi: Recipes From My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere,” Dorie Greenspan “Della Fattoria Bread: 63 Foolproof Recipes for Yeasted, Enriched & Naturally Leavened Breads,” Kathleen Weber “Flavor Flours: A New Way to Bake with Teff, Buckwheat, Sorghum, Other Whole & Ancient Grains, Nuts & Non-Wheat Flours,” Alice Medrich.

Beverage: “Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails, With More Than 500 Recipes,” Alex Day, Nick Fauchald and David Kaplan “Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail,” Dave Arnold “Sherry: A Modern Guide to the Wine World’s Best-Kept Secret, with Cocktails and Recipes,” Talia Baiocchi.

Cooking from a professional point of view: “Bar Tartine: Techniques & Recipes,” Nicolaus Balla and Cortney Burns “Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef,” Massimo Bottura “Relae: A Book of Ideas,” Christian F. Puglisi.

Focus on health: “A Change of Appetite: Where Healthy Meets Delicious,” Diana Henry “Cooking Light Mad Delicious: The Science of Making Healthy Food Taste Amazing,” Keith Schroeder “Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans,” Henry Fong and Michelle Tam.

General cooking: “The Kitchn Cookbook: Recipes, Kitchens & Tips to Inspire Your Cooking,” Faith Durand and Sara Kate Gillingham “Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home,” Marcus Samuelsson “Saveur: The New Classics Cookbook,” the editors of Saveur.

International: “The Cuban Table: A Celebration of Food, Flavors and History,” Ana Sofía Peláez “My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories,” David Lebovitz “Yucatán: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition,” David Sterling.

Photography: “A New Napa Cuisine,” Photographer: Jen Munkvold and Taylor Peden “In Her Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from Grandmas Around the World,” Gabriele Galimberti “Sherry: A Modern Guide to the Wine World’s Best-Kept Secret, with Cocktails and Recipes,” Photographer: Ed Anderson.

Reference and scholarship: “Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat and Pork: The Comprehensive Photographic Guide to Humane Slaughtering and Butchering,” Adam Danforth “Inventing Baby Food: Taste, Health and the Industrialization of the American Diet,” Amy Bentley “The Spice & Herb Bible,” Ian and Kate Hemphill.

Single subject: “Bitter: A Taste of the World’s Most Dangerous Flavor, with Recipes,” Jennifer McLagan “Charcutería: The Soul of Spain,” Jeffrey Weiss “Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World’s Most Versatile Ingredient,” Michael Ruhlman.

Vegetable-focused and vegetarian: “At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well,” Amy Chaplin “Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi,” Yotam Ottolenghi “Vegetarian Dinner Parties: 150 Meatless Meals Good Enough to Serve to Company,” Mark Scarbrough and Bruce Weinstein.

Writing and literature: “The Chain: Farm, Factory and the Fate of Our Food,” Ted Genoways “The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu,” Dan Jurafsky “The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food,” Dan Barber.

Two Houston chefs named James Beard finalists, one quite a surprise

2 of 4 Jianyun Ye of Mala Sichuan Bistro was named a James Beard Award finalists Wednesday, March 15, 2017, in Houston. ( Steve Gonzales / Houston Chronicle ) Steve Gonzales/Staff Show More Show Less

3 of 4 Chef Hugo Ortega at Hugo's Nick de la Torre Show More Show Less

4 of 4 Chef Hugo Ortega of Hugo's was nominated for the sixth time. Nick de la Torre Show More Show Less

For Jianyun Ye, the chef at Mala Sichuan Bistro, Wednesday was like any other day. He got to work in the kitchen at 10:30 a.m., clocked out at 3 p.m. and returned for dinner service two hours later.

Until the tail end of his lunch shift, Ye was unaware - as were the owners of the small restaurant sandwiched in a strip center between an electronics store and a noodle shop in Chinatown - that the James Beard Foundation had announced his name, along with Houston chef Hugo Ortega, as a finalist in the Best Chef Southwest category for the organization's annual awards, the Oscars of the food world.

In fact Ye, who doesn't speak English, didn't know much at all about the James Beard Awards. Cori Xiong, who owns Mala Sichuan with her husband, Heng Chen, explained the prestige of it to him. And even she was hazy on the details, peppering a reporter with questions about how Ye, and in tandem her restaurant, came to be considered for such an accolade.

When it opened in 2011, Mala Sichuan brought exciting new regional focus coupled with solid quality to Bellaire Boulevard. The complex flavors and tongue-numbing pepper wizardry of the southwestern Sichuan province had had only limited representation in Houston - and none at the high, consistent level established by Xiong and Chen.

The young couple, 31 and 30 respectively, served as the public face of the restaurant as its reputation grew. They won kudos for their smart, serious menu and savvy decision to add wines and beers curated by local cult sommelier Justin Vann. As at many Chinatown restaurants, Mala Sichuan chefs over the years labored behind the scenes (and the language barrier), unknown to all but the most fanatic diners. Other local chefs, including James Beard Award winner Chris Shepherd, became repeat customers.

The nomination for Ye was no accident. In January, the 17-member chef and restaurant committee for the Beard Awards - composed of food journalists and critics who winnow down a long list of semifinalists - met in Houston with the express intent of canvassing the city's restaurant landscape.

"We've been making a conscious effort to move beyond the obvious big-name chefs cooking in a European and Mediterranean idiom," said Texas Monthly restaurant critic Pat Sharpe, the co-chair of the judging contingent for the Southwest region, which includes Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Oklahoma, Utah and Arizona. "We as a committee don't want to be stuck in the past. The times change.

"We liked the food there so much. (Ye isn't) a chef with a compelling story and a PR agency behind him. It was strictly based off of loving the food."

Ye, 58, who is from Chengdu in the Sichuan province of China, has been Mala Sichuan's chef for two years. He has lived in Houston for 16 years, previously working at a now-shuttered Chinese restaurant. He got his current job after the departure of Mala Sichuan's former chef, Rong Wu, whom Ye credits for helping put the restaurant on the map.

With Xiong as a translator, Ye said he has been working in kitchens his whole life. He graduated from culinary school in China in 1978, and cooked Sichuan food there before moving to the U.S.

"It's very rewarding to get recognition for something I've been doing for so many years," he said. Especially in the U.S., he added.

"It's more meaningful here because I'm introducing a type of food to people who aren't Chinese."

Xiong said she didn't think Ye had a shot because Mala Sichuan's food is not fine dining.

"It doesn't seem real to me," Xiong said. "Our food is ethnic food to the American people, but to Chinese people it's traditional cooking and true to its origin."

While it's Ye's first nomination for a Beard Award, it's Ortega's sixth. Still, he is thrilled to be a finalist.

"It means the world to all of us, and as Houstonians to represent this wonderful city," he said.

Ortega, 52, was nominated for his work at Hugo's, a Montrose restaurant serving regional Mexican food. He and his wife, Tracy Vaught, own H Town Restaurant Group, which also includes Backstreet Café, Caracol and Xochi.

Ortega is planning to attend the black-tie awards ceremony, to be held May 1in Chicago. But not just as a nominee. He's been invited to cook for the awards dinner, along with other superstar chefs from around the country.

"Now I have to figure out the logistics for bringing 1,200 bites of food," he said.

The other finalists in the Best Chef Southwest category are Bryce Gilmore of Barley Swine in Austin Steve McHugh of Cured in San Antonio Martín Rios of Restaurant Martín in Santa Fe, N.M. and Steve Redzikowski of Acorn restaurant in Denver. Only three Houston chefs have ever won a James Beard Award: Robert Del Grande (1992), Shepherd (2014) and Justin Yu (2016).

Xiong and Ye are not sure they will attend the ceremony.

"We already have an event in May," she said.

Alison Cook and Greg Morago contributed to this story.

Goin, Silverton lead nominees for 2014 James Beard Awards

It’s going to be Suzanne Goin going head-to-head with Nancy Silverton in the outstanding chef category in the James Beard Foundation’s annual awards competition. The finalists were announced Tuesday.

Considered the Academy Awards of the culinary world, there are 59 categories of awards, including best restaurant, best chef, best restaurant design, best cookbook and more.

In addition, Goin’s restaurant partner Caroline Styne was nominated for the outstanding restaurateur award and Osteria Mozza’s Dahlia Narvaez was nominated for outstanding pastry chef. Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Animal and Son of a Gun and Michael Cimarusti of Providence were nominated for best chef in the West.

Besides Goin, honored for Lucques, and Silverton, for Pizzeria Mozza, the outstanding chef finalists are Michael Anthony of Grammercy Tavern in New York Sean Brock of McCrady’s in Charleston, S.C. David Kinch of Manresa in Los Gatos, Calif. and Marc Vetri of Vetri in Philadelphia.

Pastry chef and author Sherry Yard (Spago) will also be inducted into the James Beard Who’s Who of Food and Beverage.

Local authors making it to the finals of the cookbook awards are Valerie Gordon for “Sweet” and Martha Rose Shulman with cowriter Jacquy Pfeiffer for “The Art of French Pastry.”

The winners will be announced May 5 at a ceremony in New York. Tickets to the ceremony and gala reception are can be purchased at online or by calling (914) 231-6180. Tickets are $475, or $425 for James Beard Foundation members.

The winners of the book awards will be announced May 2 at the James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast and Journalism Awards dinner at Gotham Hall.

Beard Award Winners Announced

California restaurants and female chefs fared well in this year’s James Beard Awards, which were announced Monday night at a ceremony at Lincoln Center attended by more than 1,700 food professionals and others.

The award for outstanding chef of the year was given to Nancy Silverton of Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles, who joins Alice Waters, Lidia Bastianich and Judy Rodgers as the only women to win this top award since the program started in 1990. Barbara Lynch of Boston was named outstanding restaurateur. She is the second woman in a row to win this award, after Maguy Le Coze, who was the first ever last year.

Chosen the outstanding restaurant was the Slanted Door in San Francisco. Shed, in Healdsburg, Calif., was recognized for outstanding design. The award for best service was given to the restaurant at Meadowood, in the Napa Valley, breaking New York’s three-year winning streak. And in the awards’ Western region, the best chef was another Californian, Daniel Patterson of Coi in San Francisco.

The annual event, which is often described as the Oscars competition for the culinary world, was a somewhat less exhilarating showcase for New York than it had been in the past. The only local winners among the top awards were Dominique Ansel, who was named outstanding pastry chef, and Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery, named the outstanding wine, beer or spirits professional. NoMad was cited for its bar program, and Sirio Maccioni, who has long presided at Le Cirque and recently celebrated his 82nd birthday, won a lifetime achievement award. He was introduced by former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who disregarded the dress code of black tie and wore white tie and tails. Among the people Mr.Maccioni thanked was the late William Zeckendorf, who was his first landlord.

April Bloomfield was named best chef in New York for her work at the Spotted Pig.

Nationwide, the best new restaurant was Pêche Seafood Grill in New Orleans, trumping a field that included Betony, Carbone and Estela in New York and Coqueta in San Francisco. The contest for rising star chef ended in a tie: Jimmy Bannos Jr. of the Purple Pig in Chicago and Blaine Wetzel of the Willows Inn on Lummi Island, in Washington. The Barn at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tenn., won for outstanding wine program. Cookbook of the year went to “Historic Heston” by the British chef Heston Blumenthal.

The winners are chosen by a committee of volunteer judges, all food journalists.

The full list of winners can be found on the James Beard Foundation website.

Eight St. Louis chefs and restaurants named James Beard Foundation Award semifinalists

The finalists for the co-called “Oscars of the culinary world" will be named on March 25 and the awards gala will take place in Chicago on May 4.

Photography by Kevin A. Roberts

From indo, thonmaguro sashimi (bluefin tuna) with akami, chutoro, otoro, accompanied by assorted pickles, fresh wasabi, and shiso

The semifinalists for the 2020 James Beard Awards were announced this morning, and St. Louis restaurants and chefs came away with eight nominations, up from seven last year.

Four local chefs (out of 20 nominees) were nominated for Best Chef: Midwest - Michael Gallina for Vicia (a second nomination) Lona Luo for Lona’s Lil Eats (a third nomination) Jesse Mendica for Olive + Oak (a third nomination) and Loryn Nalic for Balkan Treat Box (her first nomination).

Indo was a double-nominee: chef-owner Nick Bognar was nominated for Rising Star Chef of the Year (a second nomination), and indo for Best New Restaurant, a national category.

For Best Baker, another national category, Nathaniel Reid of Nathaniel Reid Bakery received his second semi-finalist nomination.

Photography by Kevin A. Roberts

And perhaps the biggest (yet well deserved) surprise, Qui Tran’s Mai Lee was nominated for the first time in the most prestigious national category of all, Outstanding Restaurant.

Scratch Brewing Company, the foraging-focused farmhouse brewery in Ava, Il, was nominated the category of Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Producer, another national category.

The finalist round will be announced on March 25, and winners will be announced at the annual gala held at Lyric Opera of Chicago on May 4.

Executive pastry chef Ghaya Oliveira at Daniel makes desserts that could easily hang on the walls of the Museum of Modern Art—if they didn't drip all over the canvas. Until then, they'll be served on plates and ooh-ed and ahh-ed over at the iconic New York restaurant. Above is Turkish coffee ice cream, Jivara-coffee Chantilly cream, ginger caramel, and chocolate fondant.

Above is Oliveira's whimsical Miel: Lemon-bee pollen sorbet with honeycomb meringue, mango, and papaya.

2014 James Beard Award semifinalists announced

The James Beard Foundation announced its semifinalists Wednesday for the 2014 Chef and Restaurant Awards. To be clear, the actual nominees will be announced March 18 in Chicago, but this long list will give you a good idea of who may be feted May 5 in New York. Chicago, as usual, boasts a respectable showing on this list.

Best new restaurant: Brindille, Nico Osteria

Outstanding bar program: The Violet Hour

Outstanding chef: Carrie Nahabedian (Naha)

Outstanding pastry chef: Dana Cree (Blackbird)

Outstanding restaurant: Spiaggia

Outstanding restaurateur: Donnie Madia (One Off Hospitality Group)

Outstanding service: L2O, Topolobampo

Outstanding wine program: Sepia

Outstanding wine, spirits or beer professional: Mike Floyd, Nick Floyd, Simon Floyd (Three Floyds Brewing, Munster, Ind.) Don Feinberg and Wendy Littlefield, Vanberg & DeWulf (The beer importer is a Cooperstown, NY-based business, but Feinberg and Littlefield are residents of Chicago.)

Rising star chef of the year: Jimmy Bannos Jr. (The Purple Pig), Matthew Kirkley (L2O), David Posey (Blackbird)

Best chef, Great Lakes: David Beran (Next), Abraham Conlon and Adrienne Lo (Fat Rice), Curtis Duffy (Grace), Paul Fehribach (Big Jones), Phillip Foss (EL Ideas), Ryan McCaskey (Acadia), Iliana Regan (Elizabeth), Jason Vincent (Nightwood), Paul Virant (Vie), Erling Wu-Bower (Nico Osteria), Andrew Zimmerman (Sepia)

For a full list of semifinalists from across the country, follow this link.

Watch the video: The 2014 JBF Awards: Highlight Reel


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