In Madison, he was the executive chef at Shinji Muramoto's 43 North on King Street, which closed in 2016.
This was Randolph's third consecutive time as a "Best Chef: Midwest" semifinalist.
It's a disappointing follow-up to the semifinalist announcement last month that included a record number of Houston chefs and restaurants, including first time semifinalists nominations for Ronnie Killen, Ryan Pera (Coltivare), Ross Coleman and James Haywood (Kitchen 713), and Trong Nguyen (Crawfish & Noodles). While over 20 DC-area names were recognized in almost every category in this year's first round, only a handful remain contenders.More news: Trump eyes ex-Microsoft staffer as top economic aide
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In addition to the restaurant industry nominees, the James Beard also recognized local media.
Considered to be the Oscars of the culinary award, the awards recognize chefs, front of house professionals, restaurateurs, and media in a broad array of categories. He's the first Miami-area finalist for the award since Jeff McInnis made the so-called shortlist in 2013 after helping found Yardbird Southern Table & Bar in 2013.
Texas chefs dominated the short list for the Best Chef: Southwest category, including Olamaie's Michael Fojtasek, Barley Swine's Bryce Gilmore, and Steve McHugh from San Antonio's Cured. The category is open to chefs in Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Florida and Puerto Rico. Both were finalists for this award previous year. Winners will be announced May 7.