Florida Snubbed - Again - in James Beard Award Finals

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JBF Logo 2017

The finalists for the 2017 James Beard Foundation Awards were announced Wednesday. The two Central Florida chefs nominated for the Best Chef South category, Kathleen Blake of the Rusty Spoon and Brandon McGlamery of Luma on Park, did not advance to the finals.

I had to double check the list to make sure that I hadn’t accidentally been sent last year’s list of finalists — three of the five nominees were also on the 2016 short list. They include: Slade Rushing, Brennan’s, New Orleans; Jose Enrique, Jose Enrique, San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Vishwesh Bhatt, Snackbar, Oxford, Miss.

The other two nominees, both, not surprisingly, of New Orleans, are Rebecca Wilcomb, Herbsaint, and Nina Compton, Compère Lapin.

Although several Central Florida chefs have been semifinalists for the prestigious award, none has ever advanced to the final ballot.

The winners of the 2017 James Beard Awards will be announced at a gala ceremony at Lyric Opera of Chicago on May 1.

The full list of nominees can be seen at this link.