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James Beard Nominees Announced

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Mar 21, 2011 7:40PM

2010_03_jamesbeard.gif The James Beard Foundation just announced their awards finalists at the top of the hour and Chicago's chefs and food cognoscenti have a couple of surprises among what is a fairly predictable list.

Big names are in the running for the glamor awards - Paul Kahan, Rich Melman and Mindy Segal once again were nominated for Outstanding Chef, Restaurateur and Pastry Chef, respectively. But Blackbird's Patrick Fahy earned a well-deserved nomination for Outstanding Pastry Chef, along with Segal. Girl & the Goat earns a nod for Best New Restaurant, while Topolobampo is in the running for Outstanding Service.

The "Best Chef - Great Lakes" nominees are dominated by Chicago area chefs: Bruce Sherman, Paul Virant, Curtis Duffy and Michael Carlson. Where Chicago is thin at this year is in media, with such notable names as Steve Dolinsky, Mike Sula and others missing. Sky Full of Bacon's Michael Gebert scores one for the food bloggers (along with Julia Thiel) for Multimedia Food Feature for the Reader's "Key Ingredient" series. Below is the full list of local finalists. The James Beard Awards will be announced May 6-9 in New York.

  • Outstanding Chef: Paul Kahan

  • Outstanding Restaurateur: Rich Melman

  • Outstanding Patry Chef: Mindy Segal, Patrick Fahy

  • Best New Restaurant: Girl & the Goat

  • Best Service: Topolobampo

  • Best Chef Great Lakes: Michael Carlson, Curtis Duffy, Bruce Sherman, Paul Virant

  • Outstanding Restaurant Design Graphics: The Publican

  • Environment, Food Politics, & Policy: Monica Eng (Tribune),

  • Multimedia Food Feature: Michael Gebert/Julia Thiel (Reader)