Yesterday, the James Beard Foundation announced the semifinalists for its Restaurant and Chef Awards, the longer list that's the first step on the way to claiming one of those shiny, happy medallions. The shorter list of official finalists will come later.
New Orleans chefs and restaurants represent pretty strongly on this list. Some of the highlights include two semifinalists in the Best Bar Program category, Cure and Arnaud's French 75. Donald Link of Herbsaint and Cochon is a semifinalist in the Outstanding Chef category and John Besh's Restaurant August in a semifinalist for Outstanding Restaurant. The Best Chef: South category features 4 New Orleans semifinalists and the only appearance from a Louisiana chef not from New Orleans: Justin Girouard from the French Press in Lafayette. After the jump, a list of all the Louisiana semifinalists. Click over to Eater National for the full list.
Outstanding Bar Program
Arnaud's French 75
Outstanding Wine Program
Rising Star Chef of the Year
Sue Zemanick, Gautreau's
Best Chef: South
Justin Devillier, La Petite Grocery
John Harris, Lilette
Tory McPhail, Commander's Palace
Alon Shaya, Domenica
Justin Girouard, The French Press, Lafayette