Minnesota’s 12 James Beard semifinalists


Twelve Twin Cities chefs, bakers, restaurateurs, restaurants, and importers have been named semifinalists for the 30th-annual James Beard Foundation awards, reports the Star Tribune.

The so-called “Oscars of the food world” recognize and celebrate excellence in 21 categories.The category with the most local names is Best Chef: Midwest.

The Midwest region includes Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. The award will go to “Chefs who have set new or consistent standards of excellence in their respective regions. Eligible candidates may be from any kind of dining establishment and must have been working as a chef for at least five years with the three most recent years spent in the region.”

This year’s Best Chef: Midwest semifinalists include:

  • Lenny Russo, Heartland Restaurant & Wine Bar
  • Paul Berglund, the Bachelor Farmer
  • Russel Klein, Meritage
  • Mike Brown, James Winberg, and Bob Gerken, Travail Kitchen & Amusements
  • Jorge Guzman, Surly Brewing Co.
  • Jim Christiansen, Heyday
  • Thomas Boemer, Corner Table
  • Michelle Gayer, the Salty Tart (Outstanding Baker)
  • John Kraus, Patisserie 46 (Outstanding Baker)
  • Diane Yang, Spoon and Stable (Outstanding Pastry Chef)

This year’s nominees will be announced on March 15. The gala awards ceremony where winners will be announced will be held May 2.

[H/T Star Tribune]

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