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The 2012 James Beard Award Semifinalists List is Out!


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Holy moly, today is a career-changing day for lots of people in the Twin Cities, because today is the day that the James Beard Awards announced the long-list of the best new chefs and restaurants in the whole entire country! Here’s the link to the long list.

And here’s my fast cut-and-paste view to who’s nominated in town. The big news? Check out that Midwest Chef category—it’s a full-on catfight of local greatness.

Best New Restaurant
the Bachelor Farmer, Minneapolis
the Catbird seat, Nashville*

Outstanding Bar Program
La Belle Vie, Minneapolis

Outstanding Chef
Tim McKee, La Belle Vie

Outstanding Pastry Chef
Michelle Gayer, Salty Tart Bakery, Minneapolis

Outstanding Restaurant
Restaurant Alma, Minneapolis

Outstanding Restaurateur
Richard D’Amico and Larry D’Amico, D’Amico & Partners, Minneapolis

Outstanding Service
Manny’s Steakhouse, Minneapolis

Outstanding Wine Program
Wild Rice Restaurant, Bayfield, WI

Rising Star Chef of the Year
Sameh Wadi, Saffron Restaurant & Lounge, Minneapolis

Best Chef: Midwest
Mike Brown and James Winberg, Travail Kitchen and amusements, Robbinsdale
Steven Brown, Tilia, Minneapolis
Doug Flicker, Piccolo, Minneapolis
Russell Klein, Meritage, St. Paul
Tory Miller, L’Etoile, Madison
Lenny Russo, Heartland Restaurant & Farm Direct Market, St. Paul
Stewart Woodman, Heidi’s, Minneapolis

*Erik Anderson, ex chef de cuisine of Sea Change, is now running a restaurant with Josh Habiger, also ex of Minneapolis; the two met behind the line at dear departed Auriga and credit Doug Flicker, of Piccolo, as a major influence. That’s why I think of it as a Minneapolis restaurant. When clearly it’s not, but hey.

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