Several local restaurants, chefs named semifinalists for James Beard Awards

Several local restaurants, chefs named semifinalists for James Beard Awards

Finally, on May 7, the winners of the awards will be announced during a ceremony in Chicago.

Saffron NOLA, the pioneering modern Indian restaurant developed by the Vilkhu family. Ashley Christensen of Poole's Diner in Raleigh is up for the national award Outstanding Chef and David Bauer of Farm & Sparrow in Asheville is on the list for Outstanding Baker.

Chef Donald Link, restaurateur JoAnn Clevenger and pastry chef Kelly Fields are among the New Orleans semifinalists for James Beard Foundation's annual culinary awards announced Thursday (Feb. 15). Nominated for the Best Chef: Midwest category. All JBF Award winners receive a certificate and a medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia.

Unsurprisingly, the third Richmonder on the list gives a nod to our beloved beer scene: An Bui of Mekong, the West Broad Street Vietnamese restaurant with dozens of beers on tap, is a semifinalist for Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional.

Birmingham's Highlands Bar and Grill is a semifinalist for the country's most outstanding restaurant for the 10 consecutive year. It's one of just five Midwestern restaurants in the category.

Evin and Evrim Dogu, co-owners of Sub Rosa Bakery, were named a semifinalist for Outstanding Baker. She is across the intracoastal from Conley, another Bernstein student, who has been nominate a fourth time at his restaurant Buccan.

-- Highlands Bar and Grill's Frank Stitt, for best chef in the Southeast in 2001.

Separate from its chef and restaurant awards, and announced well in advance, the America's Classic Award is meant to recognize establishments of "timeless appeal" that serve food "that reflects the character of their communities", according to the foundation.

Every year, the foundation honors locally owned restaurants with its America's Classics awards. The three that came away with h... Selden Standard's Lena Sareini could win Rising Star Chef of the Year.