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Finalists Announced for James Beard Awards; Central Florida Passed Over Again

Written By Scott Joseph On March 21, 2011

Updated with full list of Restaurant/Chef Awards finalists.

The finalists for the 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards were announced today at a luncheon at the Oregon Culinary Institute. Once again, none of the chefs nominated from the region made it to the finals. Only one chef from Florida was nominated; New Orleans was the big winner, relatively speaking, with three out of the five nominations.

Central Florida had an unprecedented four semifinalists this year for Best Chef South Region, including husband and wife team James and Julie Petrakis, owners of the Ravenous Pig in Winter Park. Scott Hunnel, executive chef of Victoria & Albert’s, who has been on the long-list of nominees multiple times, was also a semifinalist. Hari Pulapaka of Cress in Deland was also nominated. Over 29,000 nominations were submitted this year in all categories.

The finalists for top honor in the South Region are: Zach Bell, Cafe Boulud, Palm Beach; John Harris, Lilette, New Orleans; Christopher Hastings, Hot and Hot Fish Club, Birmingham; Tory McPhail, Commander’s Palace, New Orleans; and Stephen Stryjewski, Cochon, New Orleans.

Wine educator Kevin Zraly will receive the James Beard Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

The 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards will be announced at a ceremony in Avery Fisher Hall at Manhattan’s Lincoln Center on Monday, May 9. I’ll be there to report on the winners.

Continue reading to see the full list of finalists:

Outstanding Chef Award: 
José Andrés, Minibar, Washington, DC
; Suzanne Goin, Lucques, Los Angeles, CA: 
Paul Kahan, Blackbird, Chicago, IL; 
Gary Danko, Gary Danko, San Francisco, CA
; Charles Phan, The Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA

Outstanding Restaurant Award: 
Boulevard, San Francisco, CA; 
Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, AL; 
Eleven Madison Park, New York, NY; 
Vetri, Philadelphia, PA
; Blue Hill, New York, NY

Outstanding Restaurateur Award
: Tom Douglas, Tom Douglas Restaurants, Seattle, WA; 
Bruce Bromberg and Eric Bromberg, Blue Ribbon Restaurants, New York, NY; 
Pat Kuleto, Pat Kuleto Restaurant Development & Management Co, San Francisco, CA
; Richard Melman, Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants, Chicago, IL
; Phil Suarez, Culinary Concepts by Jean-Georges, New York, NY

Outstanding Service Award: Canlis, Seattle, WA
; Emeril’s, New Orleans, LA; 
La Grenouille, New York, NY; 
Per Se, New York, NY
; Topolobampo, Chicago, IL

Best New Restaurant
: ABC Kitchen, New York, NY; 
Benu, San Francisco, CA; 
Girl & The Goat, Chicago, IL; 
Menton, Boston, MA; 
Torrisi Italian Specialties, New York, NY

Outstanding Pastry Chef : Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery, Boston, MA
; Patrick Fahy, Blackbird, Chicago, IL
; Dahlia Narvaez, Butterscotch and Serendipity, Los Angeles, CA
; Mindy Segal, Mindy’s Hot Chocolate, Chicago, IL; 
Angela Pinkerton, Eleven Madison Park, New York, NY

Rising Star Chef of the Year Award: 
Aaron London, Ubuntu, Napa, CA; 
Thomas McNaughton, Flour + Water, San Francisco, CA
; Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon, Portland, OR
; Christina Tosi, Momofuku Milk Bar, New York, NY
; Sue Zemanick, Gautreau’s, New Orleans, LA

Outstanding Wine Service Award: 
A16, San Francisco, CA, Wine Director: Shelley Lindgren
; Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN, Wine Director: Andy Chabot; 
Frasca Food & Wine, Boulder, CO, Wine Director: Bobby Stuckey
; Picasso at Bellagio, Las Vegas, NV, Wine Director: Robert Smith
; The Modern, New York, NY, Wine Director: Belinda Chang

Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional: 
Merry Edwards, Merry Edwards Wines, Sebastopol, CA; 
Rajat Parr, Wine Director, Michael Mina Group, San Francisco, CA; 
Julian P. Van Winkle III, Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, Louisville, KY
; Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Brewery, Milton, DE
; Paul Grieco, Hearth Restaurant, New York, NY


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