Salt, Four St. Louis Chefs Among James Beard Semifinalists

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The James Beard Foundation today announced the semifinalists for its annual awards honoring restaurants and chefs (link PDF). St. Louis scored four chefs in the category "Best Chef: Midwest" and -- a first, to the best of my knowledge -- a restaurant in the "Best New Restaurant" category, which includes restaurants nationwide.

That new restaurant is Wes Johnson's Salt (4356 Lindell Boulevard; 314-932-5787), which opened last spring and won the RFT's "Best New Restaurant" award for 2011.

The four St. Louis semifinalists in the "Best Chef: Midwest" category are Gerard Craft of Niche (a previous finalist), Josh Galliano of Monarch, Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Café and Kevin Willmann of Farmhaus.

The finalists in each category will be announced on Monday, March 19. The winners will be named at an awards ceremony on Monday, May 7.

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