Finalists Announced for 2010 James Beard Foundation Awards

Written By Scott Joseph On March 22, 2010

The James Beard Foundation announced today the finalists for the 2010 James Beard Awards. The list was read at a press conference at the Palace Cafe in New Orleans.

The five finalists for the South region, which includes Florida, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, are: Zach Bell of Cafe Boulud at the Brazilian Court in Palm Beach; Michael Schwartz, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Miami; Christopher Hastings, Hot & Hot Fish Club, Birmingham; John Harris, Lilette, New Orleans; and Scott Boswell, Stella!, New Orleans.

For the top awards, nominees for Outstanding Chef are: Jose Andres, Minibar, Washington, D.C.; Tom Collicchio, Craft, New York; Gary Danko, Restaurant Gary Danko, San Francisco; Suzanne Goin, Lucques, Los Angeles; and Charles Phan, The Slanted Door, San Francisco.

Outstanding Restaurant finalists are: Babbo, NYC; Boulevard, San Francisco; Daniel, NYC; Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham; and Spiaggia, Chicago.

Although no local chefs made the final cut, the long list of nominees included two area chefs: Scott Hunnel of Victoria & Albert’s, a previous nominee, and Keven Fonzo of K Restaurant. Both are certain to appear as nominees again.

If a Central Florida connection can be made through any of these nominations, it’s via Spiaggia and chef/partner Tony Mantuano. The Levy Restaurants chef developed the new menu for the revamped Portobello at Downtown Disney. To download a complete list of finalists, including journalist awards, click this link .

The James Beard restaurant awards will be announced in a ceremony at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall on Monday, May 3.

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