The James Beard Foundation, named for, and created in honor of the late champion of American cooking, presents the pinnacle of culinary arts, the James Beard Award, each year to the chefs, restaurants, and enthusiasts who best embody the organization’s mission:
“The James Beard Foundation’s mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone.”
And the finalists have officially been announced. Four Minnesota chefs, and a few other local food personalities, are still in the running for a 2018 award. Some of the faces are new this year, and some have become increasingly familiar:
Diane Yang, the pastry chef of Spoon and Stable is a nominee for the Outstanding Pastry Chef award for the first time. Her boss, Gavin Kaysen of Spoon and Stable (and also Bellecour) is nominated, along with Steven Brown of Tilia (who was also a finalist in 2017), and Ann Kim of Young Joni, in the prestigious Best Chef – Midwest category.
Two Minnesotans were also nominated for broadcast media awards: Andrew Zimmern in the Video Webcast, Fixed Location and/or Instructional category for his show Andrew in the Kitchen. Local food show fixture The Splendid Table, formerly hosted by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and now hosted by Francis Lam, was nominated in the Radio Show/Audio Webcast Category for their episode “Every Bite is Precious, Buddhist Cooking in Japan” hosted by Lam.
The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen, written by Sean Sherman with Beth Dooley, which was also the inaugural selection of the Twin Cities Cookbook Club, was also nominated for an award as one of the best cookbooks of 2017.
The 2018 James Beard Awards Gala will take place on Monday, May 7, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Winners of the cookbooks and media categories will be announced ahead of the event, on April 27.
For more local food award winners, read this next: Finally, an answer to the relationship-killing “I don’t care… where do you want to eat?”