Several local restaurants, chefs named semifinalists for James Beard Awards

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Several Milwaukee-based chefs and restauranteurs have been chosen as 2018 James Beard Award semifinalists for Best Chef and Outstanding Restauranteur categories, the James Beard Foundation announced today. He is the only local chef nominated this year for Best Chef in Midwest.

H. Alexander Talbot and Aki Kamozawa of Curiosity Doughnuts in Stockton are semifinalists in the Outstanding Baker category, while Osteria Radici in Allentown is a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant.

Vivian Howard, from Chef and the Farmer in Kinston, received her 6th James Beard nomination, while Sam Jones, owner of Sam Jones BBQ in Winterville received his first. The foundation will narrow the nominees for its restaurant and chef awards to a smaller group of finalists on March 14. The awards gala is May 7.

And this year, Sukle is nominated for the restaurant Oberlin. ChoLon and Williams & Graham have also made the list for Best New Restaurant and Outstanding Beverage Program, respectively.

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Tova du Plessis, who owns Essen Bakery on East Passyunk Avenue, is one of 20 semifinalists for top baker; she was on ther list past year.

"More than ever, in 2018, the committees took into account respect and integrity when making recommendations for the semifinalists", a James Beard Foundation representative tells Food & Wine. Eligible restaurants must have been in operation 10 or more consecutive years.

Manifesto in Kansas City was selected for Outstanding Bar Program. Curiously, Cerulean closed in December after five years at The Alexander Hotel. Joe Kindred of Kindred in Davidson is on the list for Best Chef: Southeast.

Among Vicia's accolades so far, it was No. 1 on the Post-Dispatch's ranking of the best new restaurants of 2017 and was named one of the best new restaurants in the country by Eater and Esquire. All JBF Award winners receive a certificate and a medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia.

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