Gerard Craft of Niche at James Beard Foundation Awards Tonight


This evening, the James Beard Foundation will unveil the winners of its prestigious awards for restaurants and chefs. For the second consecutive year, Gerard Craft, owner and executive chef of Niche and its offshoots Taste by Niche and Brasserie by Niche, is a finalist in the "Best Chef: Midwest" category.

Craft's fellow nominees are Isaac Becker of 112 Eatery in Minneapolis, Colby Garrelts of Bluestem in Kansas City, Alexander Roberts of Restaurant Alma in Minneapolis and Lenny Russo of Heartland in St. Paul.

The field returns four finalists from last year's awards, won by Tim McKee of La Belle Vie in Minneapolis, and Russo.

The award ceremony gets underway at 5 p.m. CDT. Gut Check had a ticket to the ceremony but chose to buy a house instead of airfare to New York, so we'll be following the results on Twitter and posting the winner as soon as it's announced.

Last night, the James Beard Foundation announced the winners of its media and cookbook awards. Winning for his restaurant reviews was the incomparable Jonathan Gold of our sister paper L.A. Weekly.