Award finalists will be announced in Philly on March 14.
The group of semifinalists are in 21 categories representing culinary talent, from exceptional chefs and dining in ten different regions across the USA, to the best new restaurants, outstanding bar programs, bakers, and rising chefs. Working with him are sous chef Bryan Russo, center, and Derek Graue, at the hearth.
A few other Carolinas nominations are surprising: The Best Chef: Southeast list also includes Sam Jones, of Sam Jones BBQ in Winterville, Rodney Scott of Rodney Scott's BBQ in Charleston, Meherwan Irani of Chai Pani in Asheville, Cheetie Kumar of Garland in Raleigh, Kevin Johnson of The Grocery in Charleston and (not surprisingly) Vivian Howard of the Chef & The Farmer in Kinston.
This is the second nomination for Rising Star Chef award for Alan Sternberg, who was a semifinalist for the award in 2016.More news: Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Raises Stake in Apple by 23.3 Percent
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Dong Phuong, the Vietnamese restaurant and bakery in New Orleans East, will be honored at the May 7 gala along with four other restaurants around the country. The Louisiana native and his restaurant group have won numerous James Beard Awards in the past, and in 2014 his Pêche Seafood Grill won the national award for Best New Restaurant. L'Etoile was nominated in the category of "Outstanding Restaurant" previous year as well. Must have been a pastry chef or baker for the past five years.
Central Florida chefs have been represented in the James Beard Foundation awards in the past.
This is Randolph's third consecutive year as a semifinalist in the Midwest category.
FIG, Charleston, nominated for Outstanding Wine Program. FIG is owned by Mike Lata.
Metro Detroit was shut out in the categories of Outstanding Chef, Outstanding Pastry Chef, Outstanding Restaurant, Outstanding Restaurateur, Outstanding Wine Program and Outstanding Wine Spirits or Beer Professional.