Metro Phoenix Chefs Are Semifinalists for James Beard Awards

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Teresa's Next Door in Wayne is a semifinalist in the bar-program category. A Michelin-starred chef, Lents has been a James Beard Award finalist in the past and came back to his native MI after working in Chicago.

A list of semifinalists have been selected from more than 20,000 online entries in 21 categories and in ten different regions of the U.S., representing a wide range of culinary talent from best new restaurants, outstanding bar programs, bakers, chefs and rising star chefs (aged 30 or younger). According to the Foundation, awards are given in more than 50 categories, including Restaurant and Chef, Restaurant Design, and Bar and Wine Program. Award finalists will be announced in Philly on March 14. Award description: A chef or baker who prepares desserts, pastries, or breads in a restaurant, and who serves as a national standard bearer of excellence. Curiously, Cerulean closed in December after five years at The Alexander Hotel.

David Bauer, of Farm & Sparrow, has been nominated for Outstanding Baker. Chef Frank Brigtsen won the group's regional best chef award in 1998.

Birmingham's Highlands Bar and Grill is a semifinalist for the country's most outstanding restaurant for the 10 consecutive year.

The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala will be held at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on Monday, May 7, 2018 where the winners will be announced.

At 9:30 this morning (February 15), the foundation will be announcing Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalist nominees live on its Twitter feed. Hansen's Sno-Bliz, Mosca's and Willie Mae's Scotch House are other New Orleans businesses to win the America's Classics award in past years.

Camille Cogswell of Zahav again is a semifinalist for rising star chef of the year; she made the finals last year.

New Orleans had almost a dozen finalists in the running for the James Beard Foundation awards on Monday night.

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