by Nancy Stiles
The 2015 James Beard Award semifinalists were announced this week, and as usual, St. Louis managed to creep into the ranks. Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Cafe, Ben Poremba of Elaia, Gerard Craft of Niche and Kevin Willmann of Farmhaus are semifinalists for the Best Chef: Midwest category. Eric Heath of Cleveland-Heath is a semifinalist in the Best Chef: Great Lakes category, because Cleveland-Heath is located in Edwardsville, Illinois. Annie Gunn's is a semifinalist for Outstanding Wine Program, a national category.
The James Beard Foundation Awards, which are pretty much like the Oscars for chefs, first announce semifinalists for categories such as Outstanding Restaurant, Outstanding Baker, Outstanding Chef and Outstanding Bar Program along with regional chef categories. On March 24, the foundation will announce a whittled-down list of finalists, followed by the awards ceremony on May 4.
Last year, Gerard Craft and Kevin Nashan were the only two out of several St. Louis nominees to be finalists, but alas, no one has taken home the prize just yet. You can find the full list of semifinalists here, which includes a few of our friends over in Kansas City. Congrats, guys!
Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at Nancy.Stiles@RiverfrontTimes.com.
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