The James Beard Foundation has released its long list of 2017 semifinalists, recognizing culinary achievement across the country. This year the committee once again appears to be loving New Orleans. Numerous local chefs and restaurants were given nods, though it's important to remember that this is the "long list" of nominees. Here's the full list of nominees.
Among the local highlights: Turkey and the Wolf is being considered for the Best New Restaurant category. Both Arnaud’s French 75 Bar and Cure are potential nominees for Outstanding Bar Program. Donald Link of Herbsaint is a semifinalist for Outstanding Chef while Kelly Fields of Willa Jean is being considered for Outstanding Pastry Chef. JoAnn Clevenger of Upperline is up for Outstanding Restaurateur. Brigtsen’s and Galatoire’s Restaurant are semifinalists in the Outstanding Service category. Bacchanal Fine Wine & Spirits and Emeril’s made the semifinalists list for Outstanding Wine Program. Two chefs — Zachary Engel of Shaya and Martha Wiggins of Sylvain — scored spots on the long list for Rising Star Chef of the Year.
Finally, Nina Compton (Compère Lapin), Michael Gulotta (MoPho), Slade Rushing (Brennan’s), culinary duo Michael Stoltzfus and Kristen Essig (Coquette), Isaac Toups (Toups’ Meatery), and Rebecca Wilcomb (Herbsaint) are being considered for the Best Chef: South category.
Semifinalists were selected from a list of 24,000 online entries. The finalists will be revealed March 15, and the winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on May 1 in Chicago.