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Alabama restaurant, 5 chefs named James Beard Awards semifinalists

16 February, 2017, 00:58 | Author: Eddie Kim

Two Idahoans have made the cut as semifinalists in the 2017 Restaurant and Chef Awards, bestowed by the prestigious James Beard Foundation. But Houston has an unusually high number of chefs and restaurateurs this morning who can say, "It's an honor just to be nominated". This marks the fourth time Bhatt has been nominated for the award.

On Wednesday, the James Beard Foundation unveiled the semifinalists for the upcoming James Beard Awards, otherwise known as the Oscars of the culinary world.

Last year's big wins went to La Petite Grocery and Balise's Justin Devillier for Best Chef: South and to Alon Shaya, whose eponymous Israeli restaurant was named the country's Best New Restaurant.

Brock's fellow former Best Chef Southeast victor Mike Lata (FIG) is long-listed for the Outstanding Chef award.

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Ippuku, the bustling, 7-year-old izakaya on Center Street, has been recognized by the Michelin guide and local critics alike, but had yet to get the attention of the Beard awards.

Gabe Barker of Pizzeria Mercato in Carrboro is in the Rising Star Chef of the Year category. She stood on the podium with her husband in 2013, when Colby Garrelts won Best Chef: Midwest for his excellence at Bluestem, the couple's flagship fine-dining restaurant in Westport. Cynthia Wong of Butcher & Bee, who was previously nominated for her work in Atlanta, is a semi-finalist for the Best Pastry Chef award.

The organization, which received more than 24,000 online entries in 21 categories, also names outstanding restaurants, restaurateurs and bar, wine and service programs in addition to star chefs in 10 regions of the country.

The James Beard Foundation plans to announce the five finalists for each category March 15, and award winners will be unveiled at the James Beard Foundation Awards Gala in Chicago May 1.

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