Gerard Craft of Niche and Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Cafe are among the nominees for the James Beard Foundation Award’s Best Chef: Midwest award.
The seven nominees, whittled down from a pool of 20 semifinalists, were named Tuesday. Previously, the foundation announced semifinalists last month for the food industry’s top honor. Other nominees for Best Chef: Midwest are Justin Aprahamian of Sanford in Milwaukee; Paul Berglund of The Bachelor Farmer in Minneapolis; Michelle Gayer of Salty Tart in Minneapolis; and Lenny Russo, chef/owner of Heartland Restaurant & Farm Direct Market in Saint Paul, Minn.
In February, six St. Louis chefs and one restaurant were named semifinalists in various categories: Taste, at 4584 Laclede Ave., was a semifinalist for Outstanding Bar Program. Chef Rick Lewis, of Quincy Street Bistro, was named a semifinalist for Rising Star Chef of the Year. In the Best Chef: Midwest category, Craft and Nashan were joined by Ben Poremba of Elaia, Kevin Willmann of Farmhaus, and Josh Galliano of The Libertine.
The foundation received 40,000 submissions and narrowed down a list of semifinalists, which were announced last month. The smaller pool of nominees will compete for the final awards, which are to be announced May 2 and May 5 in New York City.