Alabama restaurants, 4 chefs among semifinalists for 2018 James Beard Awards

Alabama restaurants, 4 chefs among semifinalists for 2018 James Beard Awards

Each year, New Orleans chefs, bartenders, restaurants and bars usually figure prominently in the James Beard Foundation Awards. Four individuals from Indianapolis were announced as semifinalists in this year's awards: Martha Hoover of Patachou fame for Outstanding Restaurateur, Alan Sternberg of Cerulean for Rising Star Chef of the Year, and two nominees for Best Chef: Great Lakes award in Abbi Merriss of Bluebeard, and Steven Oakley of Oakley's Bistro.

In 2016, in Best Chef: Southwest Dallas has four chef nominations out of 20: Matt McCallister, FT33; Teiichi Sakurai, Tei-An; David Uygur, Lucia; and Omar Flores, Casa Rubia. The Bartolotta Restaurants in Milwaukee are semifinalists for Outstanding Restauranteur.

The Foundation will announce the five finalists for each category on March 14.

Cynthia Wong, Butcher & Bee, Charleston, nominated for Outstanding Pastry Chef.


For the fifth year, JoAnn Clevenger of Upperline Restaurant is up for Outstanding Restaurateur, an award the James Beard Foundations gives to "a working restaurateur who sets high national standards in restaurant operations and entrepreneurship".

Central Florida chefs have been represented in the James Beard Foundation awards in the past. Last year, his chef at Herbsaint, Rebecca Wilcomb, won the award for Best Chef: South. The Indigo Road group owns The Oak Table in Columbia.

Bacchanal, the wine shop that morphed into a wine bar, wine garden and unique oenophile oasis in the Bywater, is nominated alongside more traditional restaurants around the country.

Though Dallas has far fewer nods this year than in years past, there are some fun Texas semifinalists, including Norma Frances "Tootsie" Tomanetz of Snow's BBQ in Lexington for Best Chef: Southwest and Jeffrey Stuffings of Jester King Brewery in Austin, nominated in the Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional category.

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