James Beard Foundation Awards Announces 2012 Semifinalists

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The James Beard Foundation announced a list of Restaurant and Chef semifinalists for the 2012 James Beard Foundation Awards this morning in New York. The James Beard Foundation Awards is the nation’s most prestigious recognition program honoring professionals in the food and beverage industries.

The semifinalists announced today were selected from a record-breaking 57,000 online entries. “The prestigious group of semifinalists in 20 Restaurant and Chef Award categories represents a wide variety of culinary talent, from exceptional chefs and dining destinations in ten different regions across the U.S., to the nation’s top wine and spirits professionals, best new restaurants, and rising star chefs,” said a spokesperson for the Foundation.

The Foundation also announced a new category for this year: Outstanding Bar Program, which recognizes a restaurant or bar demonstrating excellence in cocktail, spirits, and/or beer service. The finalists will be announced Monday, Mar. 19 at 2 p.m. EST, at a press brunch hosted by The Venetian and The Palazzo in Las Vegas.

Some NYC highlights are: Isa,Tertulia and Tremont are all semifinalists in the “Best New Restaurant” category. Noah Bernamoff, Mile End; Emma Hearst, Sorella; Jesse Schenker, Recette; Max Sussman, Roberta’s; Christina Tosi, Momofuku Milk Bar are all NYC contenders for the “Rising Chef Star of the Year” Award.

The full list of semifinalists for “Best Chef: NYC” is as follows:

Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern

April Bloomfield, The Spotted Pig

Marco Canora, Hearth

Scott Conant, Scarpetta

Wylie Dufresne, wd~50

John Fraser, Dovetail

Kurt Gutenbrunner, Wallsé

Dan Kluger, ABC Kitchen

Mark Ladner, Del Posto

Paul Liebrandt, Corton

Anita Lo, Annisa

George Mendes, Aldea

César Ramirez, Brooklyn Fare

Sean Rembold, Diner

Masa Takayama, Masa

Bill Telepan, Telepan

Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone, Torrisi Italian Specialties

Jonathan Waxman, Barbuto

Michael White, Marea

Galen Zamarra, Mas (farmhouse)

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