by Ian Froeb
The James Beard Foundation announced the finalists for its annual Restaurant and Chef Awards this morning, and for the fourth time in the past five years, Gerard Craft of Niche (7734 Forsyth Boulevard, Clayton; 314-773-7755) is one of the five finalists in the "Best Chef: Midwest" category.
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"Super honored and just want to do our city proud!" Craft tells Gut Check as he prepares to leave the country. "Also pretty happy way to start first family vacation in two years!"
Craft was one of two St. Louis chefs among the twenty semifinalists for the award, along with Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Café (2000 Sidney Street; 314-771-5777).
The four other finalists in the "Best Chef: Midwest" category are Justin Aprahamian of Sanford in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Colby Garrelts of Bluestem in Kansas City; Michelle Gayer of Salty Tart in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Jack Riebel of Butcher & the Boar in Minneapolis.
The winner will be announced at a gala event in New York City on Monday, May 6.