The James Beard Foundation has announced its 2018 awards semifinalists, recognizing culinary achievement across the country. This year’s nominees included several Detroit-area chefs and restaurants, though it’s important to remember that this is the “long list” of nominees. Here’s the full list of national contenders.
Among the local highlights: Lady of the House is being considered for the Best New Restaurant category. Lisa Ludwinski of Sister Pie is once again a nominee for Outstanding Baker. Standby is also nominated again in the Outstanding Bar Program category. For the Outstanding Service award, Ann Arbor institution Zingerman’s Delicatessen received a nomination. Selden Standard’s pastry chef Lena Sareini has been nominated in the Rising Star Chef of the Year category recognizing talented chefs under the age of 30. Additionally, two local chefs are in the running for Best Chef: Great Lakes, including Thomas Lents (The Apparatus Room) and James Rigato (Mabel Gray).
Semifinalists were selected from a list of 20,000 entries. The metro area has had a strong showing in the semifinalists lists over the past several years. Unfortunately, that hasn’t translated into any actual finalists nominations or awards.
The Beards are considered the Oscars of the culinary world, though they have been criticized in the past for a lack of inclusiveness. Notably this year, the awards committee asked voters to take into consideration chefs’ behavior in response to the #MeToo movement.
Could this be the year that a Detroit nominee finally makes the cut? We’ll have to wait until March 14 when the finalists are revealed. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on May 7 in Chicago.
• Here Are the 2018 James Beard Awards Restaurant and Chef Semifinalists [E]
• James Beard Awards Committee Asks Voters to Consider Chefs’ Behavior in Nominations [E]
• Does a James Beard Award Drive Traffic Back to the Restaurant? [E]
• All Awards Season Coverage [ED]