Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Finalists announced for 2014 Beard Awards

The annual James Beard Awards announced today the "nominees," aka finalists, for its slew of national and regional restaurant and chef honors. Winners come out May 5 at a ceremony in New York.

Making the cutoff from the Carolinas were:

Outstanding Chef: Sean Brock of Husk and McCrady's in Charleston (above).
For Rising Star (a national award): Katie Button of C├║rate in Asheville (at right).
For Best Chef: Southeast, Ashley Christensen of Poole's Downtown Diner and more in Raleigh (below) was the only one of the 11 in the semifinalist 20 to move on.
Outstanding Wine Program: Charleston's FIG.
(By the way, you could win a flight to New York with Sean Brock of Charleston's Husk and McCrady's, plus $5,000 and a ticket to the awards ceremony and two night's hotel stay here.)

Other nominees worth noting:
In the Broadcast category, "A Chef's Life," featuring chef Vivian Howard of the Chef and the Farmer in Kinston, was nominated for TV Program on Location, while Sarah LeTrent, a Charlotte native and South Mecklenburg grad who is associate producer of CNN's food website Eatocracy, also was nominated, as co-producer of "American Journey" on CNN and CNN.com, one of the final five in the Television Segment category.

Semifinalists (aka "the long list") from the Carolinas not moving forward were:

Outstanding Pastry Chef: Phoebe Lawless of Durham's Scratch.
Outstanding Restaurant: The Fearrington House in Pittsboro.
Outstanding Restaurateur: Giorgios Bakatsias of Giorgios Hospitality Group in Durham (he's got Georges in Charlotte, too).
Outstanding Service: McCrady's.
Best Chef: Southeast semifinalists were Jeremiah Bacon of The Macintosh, Kevin Johnson of The Grocery and Josh Keeler of Two Boroughs Larder, all in Charleston; Colin Bedford of The Fearrington House; Scott Crawford of Herons at the Umstead in Cary; Howard of Chef and the Farmer; Scott Howell of Nana's and Matt Kelly of Mateo in Durham; Meherwan Irani of Chai Pani in Asheville; and Aaron Vandemark of Panciuto in Hillsborough.

The process: Anyone can nominate (up to two per category); then Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee (critics, writers, editors) cull about 20 in each category (it varies a bit) and those lists of semifinalists go to a voting body (former Beard Award winners, the committee members and other regional panelists), who picks five "nominees," then the final winner.


Anonymous said...

Wow the Triangle has a great restaurant scene.