The James Beard Foundation this morning announced the semifinalists for its annual Restaurant and Chef Awards (link PDF). This year, two St. Louis chefs made the cut of twenty in the "Best Chef: Midwest" category: Gerard Craft of Niche (7734 Forsyth Boulevard, Clayton; 314-773-7755) and Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Café (2000 Sidney Street; 314-771-5777).
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Both Craft and Nashan were semifinalists for the award last year as well, along with Josh Galliano of the now-closed Monarch and Kevin Willmann of Farmhaus. Craft made the list of five finalists, the third time in the past four years that he has done so, but lost to Tory Miller of L'Etoile in Madison, Wisconsin.
"Obviously, we're always honored," Craft tells Gut Check. "It just makes us want to work so much harder."
(Gut Check has a call in to Nashan comment. We'll update the post when we hear back from him.)
The James Beard Foundation will announce the finalists for this year's awards on Monday, March 18. The winners will be announced in a gala ceremony in New York City on Monday, May 6.