The James Beard Foundation has announced semi-finalists for its annual awards and five Kansas City restaurants on the list.
The Beard Awards often bills itself as the Oscars of food and while many critics raise serious concerns about how the awards are chosen, they remain a major force in American fine dining. Winning a Beard award is considered the top line on many chef’s resumes—including local legend Michael Smith, who advertised his win on the outside wall of his eponymous Crossroads restaurant.
Judges will vote on this “long list” to select five finalists in each category, which will be announced on Wednesday, March 25. From there, the winners will be announced during the James Beard Awards Gala in Chicago on May 4.
So far, we take no issue with the nominees.
The four nominees for “Best Chef Midwest” happen to also be the top four restaurants on our list of the best 40 restaurants in Kansas City, which was released in December. (No one who writes or edits for this publication participates in the Beard awards.) The other nominees for baking categories have also been featured in our pages.
This year’s local semi-finalists:
Best chef Midwest:
Michael Corvino, Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room, Kansas City, MO
Nicholas Goellner, The Antler Room, Kansas City, MO
Linda Duerr, The Restaurant at 1900, Mission Woods, KS
Vaughn Good, Fox and Pearl, Kansas City, MO
Taylor Petrehn, 1900 Barker, Lawrence, KS
Outstanding pastry chef:
Megan Garrelts, Rye, Leawood, KS
On the other side of Missouri, St. Louis also racked up a few notable noms:
Best New Restaurant:
iNDO, St. Louis
Rising Star Chef of the Year:
Nick Bognar, iNDO, St. Louis
Nathaniel Reid, Nathaniel Reid Bakery, Kirkwood, MO
Mai Lee, Brentwood, MO
Best chef Midwest:
Michael Gallina, Vicia, St. Louis
Jesse Mendica, Olive + Oak, Webster Groves, MO
Loryn Nalic, Balkan Treat Box, Webster Groves, MO
You can peruse the full list of nominees here.