<div id="fb-root"></div>
<script async defer crossorigin="anonymous" src="https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v17.0&appId=1360880647827568&autoLogAppEvents=1" nonce="nOICdQjC"></script>

Beard Foundation will Announce Award Nominations in Orlando

Written By Scott Joseph On December 13, 2013

Beard chefs stepsAll of Central Florida’s previous nominees for best chef gathered in the courtyard of the Alfond Inn in November for a photo, and to begin planning their February dinner. (Photo SJO)

– First on SJO –

Update: Tickets are now available through Visit Orlando.

The James Beard Foundation will announce the semifinalists for its prestigious culinary awards at a press conference in Orlando on February 19th. The press conference will be held at East End Market and will be streamed live over the Internet. 

The nomination ceremony will follow a special dinner, on February 18th, prepared by all of Central Florida’s previous Beard nominees.

Participating in the dinner will be:

  • Scott Hunnel, Victoria & Albert’s 
  • Kevin Fonzo, K restaurant 
  • James and Julie Petrakis, Ravenous Pig 
  • Hari Pulapaka, Cress 
  • Kathleen Blake, Rusty Spoon 
  • Brandon McGlamery, Luma on Park 
  • Henry Salgado, Spanish River Seafood Grill

Norman Van Aken will be the dinner’s special guest and master of ceremonies. Van Aken, whose Norman’s restaurant is at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes in Orlando, is a past Beard Award winner, however he won the award for Best Chef South Region for his now-closed Norman’s in Coral Gables.

Beard chefsFrom left, Kevin Fonzo, James Petrakis, Kathleen Blake, Henry Salgado, Hari Pulapaka, Julie Petrakis, Brandon McGlamery, and Scott Hunnel. (Photo by Gary Bogdon)The dinner will be at the Alfond Inn at Rollins College in Winter Park. Tickets for the dinner are $200 per person and available through the Beard Foundation beginning Dec. 20 (watch for details). An after-dinner party in the hotel’s boardroom with the chefs is $75 per person.

Nominations for Beard awards are made by regional judges, many of whom are restaurant critics and food journalists. The awards panel considers the recommendations and compiles a preliminary ballot with as many as 20 semifinalists in each category. From the long list, the judges choose up to five names. The top five vote-getters go to the final ballot. Winners will be announced at a black tie ceremony in May at New York’s Lincoln Center.

Although Central Florida has had chefs on the semifinals list, none have advanced to the finals. Hunnel has been nominated the most times.

The selection of Orlando as the location to announce the nominations is significant. It’s an acknowledgement that the region is finally being recognized as having a vibrant and creative culinary community beyond theme park fare and the chain restaurants that serve the nearly 60 million visitors each year. 

The announcement of the JBF Award nominations is eagerly anticipated among the country’s culinary elite. The February 19 press conference is sure to have a large audience.

{jcomments on}

We hope you find our reviews and news articles useful and entertaining. It has always been our goal to assist you in making informed decisions when spending your dining dollars. If we’ve helped you in any way, please consider making a contribution to help us continue our journalism. Thank you.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
<div class="fb-comments" data-href="<?php the_permalink() ?>" data-width="100%" data-numposts="5"></div>
Scott's Newsletter