Forget the Michelin Guide, James Beard awards are what really matter for American chefs. So even making the Florida semifinals are pretty big news. At the top of the heap and alone in his category of “Outstanding Chef” is Michael Schwartz for Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink. The “Best Chef” nominees are a little more numerous with chefs Jose Mendin of Pubbelly and Horacio Rivadero of The District, a Pan-American restaurant in Buena Vista, representing Miami amongst entires from other cities like Tampa, Winter Park and New Smyrna Beach.
Not surprisingly Broken Shaker at The Freehand in Miami Beach stands alone in the “Outstanding Bar Program” category. While we might argue there could be some other contestants up for the award, most of them have their bars done by Elad Zvi and Gabriel Orta of Bar Lab who own the Broken Shaker, so… they pretty much deserve to sweep this award. Final awards are given May 2 and May 5, so stay tuned!