James Beard Foundations Announces 2011 Semifinalist Nominees

List Of Finalists To Be Released March 21

Posted by Sharon on Feb 19

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The official list of James Beard Award semifinalists for 2011 has just been released. It's significantly longer than the list of finalists, which will be announced in March.

A record number of 28,000 online nominations were received this year, making the process of elimination quite a daunting task for the semifinalists judging panel. But the hardest task may still lie ahead. An even larger panel of 550 judges will narrow the list down to 5 finalists in each category and will announce the official list on March 21 at the Oregon Culinary Institute.

Nominees for this year's "Outstanding Chef" include Jose Andres, Michael Symon, Stephan Pyles, and Jose Garces, while the list of "Outstanding Restaurateur" names range from New York's Richard Sandoval, Seattle's Tom Douglas, and founder of Chipotle Mexican Grill Steve Ells.

Additional categories name the "Best Chef" by American region, including a distinct category for chefs in the New York City area. The list also names outstanding wine specialists, pastry chefs, restaurant service, and the favored "Rising Star Chef of the Year."

After the finalists are announced in March, the wait begins for the James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception, which will be held at New York's Avery Fisher Hall on May 9.

Source:  Huffington Post

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