Finalists Announced for James Beard Awards; Central Florida Passed Over Again
Updated with full list of Restaurant/Chef Awards finalists.
The finalists for the 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards were announced today at a luncheon at the Oregon Culinary Institute. Once again, none of the chefs nominated from the region made it to the finals. Only one chef from Florida was nominated; New Orleans was the big winner, relatively speaking, with three out of the five nominations.
Central Florida had an unprecedented four semifinalists this year for Best Chef South Region, including husband and wife team James and Julie Petrakis, owners of the Ravenous Pig in Winter Park. Scott Hunnel, executive chef of Victoria & Albert’s, who has been on the long-list of nominees multiple times, was also a semifinalist. Hari Pulapaka of Cress in Deland was also nominated. Over 29,000 nominations were submitted this year in all categories.
The finalists for top honor in the South Region are: Zach Bell, Cafe Boulud, Palm Beach; John Harris, Lilette, New Orleans; Christopher Hastings, Hot and Hot Fish Club, Birmingham; Tory McPhail, Commander’s Palace, New Orleans; and Stephen Stryjewski, Cochon, New Orleans.
Wine educator Kevin Zraly will receive the James Beard Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
The 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards will be announced at a ceremony in Avery Fisher Hall at Manhattan’s Lincoln Center on Monday, May 9. I’ll be there to report on the winners.
Continue reading to see the full list of finalists: