Among the semifinalists are five ME chefs nominated in the Best Chef: Northeast category. Winners of the 2017 James Beard Media Awards, honoring the nation's top cookbook authors, culinary broadcast producers and hosts, and food journalists, will be announced on April 25.
Outstanding restaurant, also a national category, includes chef Tory Miller's L'Etoile in Madison as a semifinalist. Chefs must have been working at least five years, with three of those years spent within the region. "It's an honor to be selected again for Rising Star", says Kilgore about the nod.
Jeff Smedstad, a Chandler native who previously cooked at Los Sombreros in Scottsdale, has operated the acclaimed Elote Cafe in Sedona for 10 years.
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"The prestigious group of semifinalists in 21 categories represents a wide range of culinary talent, from exceptional chefs and dining destinations in ten different regions across the USA, to the nation's top wine and spirits professionals, best new restaurants, rising star chefs, pastry chefs, and bakers", a news release said.
Miami, however, was shut out of the Outstanding Bar Program, Outstanding Pastry Chef, and Outstanding Chef awards, though Andrew Carmellini (The Dutch) was nominated for an Outstanding Chef award for Locanda Verde in NY.
Chris Bianco's flagship restaurant, Pizzeria Bianco, has been nominated several times for Outstanding Restaurant. Carlson previously worked in NY, at restaurants including Lespinasse. This is Smedstad's first Beard nomination. The foundation will announce the final nominees on March 15. Nominations will also be announced live via the Foundation's Facebook Live video feed and in real time on Twitter. All other winners will be named May 1 at the James Beard Foundation Awards Gala in Chicago.