At this point it’s beginning to sound like a broken record. Another year, another round of James Beard Awards finalists and once more no Detroit restaurants have made the cut. There was a glimmer of hope in February that this might be the Motor City’s year, riding a wave of positive press for the metro area’s growing dining scene.
Local semifinalists — part of the so called “long list” of contenders — for 2017 included: Katoi (nominated for Best New Restaurant); Lisa Ludwinski of Sister Pie (Outstanding Baker category); Standby (Outstanding Bar Program); and James Rigato (Mabel Gray), Andy Hollyday (Selden Standard), and Nick Janutol (Forest) in the category of Best Chef: Great Lakes.
Hopes that Katoi might make it into the final cut were dashed last month when the restaurant was put out of commission from a fire. But the lack of representation of any Michigan chefs or restaurants is disappointing. Chicago dominated the category of Best Chef: Great Lakes this year, with all the finalists slots going to Windy City restaurants. When will Detroit finally get its due at the Academy Awards of food? Maybe next year.
• All Awards Season Coverage [ED]