The James Beard Foundation narrowed down its long list of 2018 awards nominees to finalists today during a press conference in Philadelphia and Zingerman’s Delicatessen in Ann Arbor is officially in the running for an Outstanding Service award.
Unfortunately, that none of metro Detroit’s chef, restaurant, or bar semifinalists have made it to the next round this year. Here is the full list of finalists.
Zingerman’s is named in the category alongside Boka in Chicago, Saison in San Francisco, Zahav in Philadelphia, and Zuni Café in San Francisco. The Outstanding Service award is given to a restaurant that’s operated for five or more years and demonstrates high standards of hospitality and service, according to the Beards.
In February, the Southeast Michigan region had received seven semifinalist nominations including Zingerman’s Delicatessen, Lady of the House for the Best New Restaurant category; Lisa Ludwinski of Sister Pie for Outstanding Baker; Standby for Outstanding Bar Program category; Selden Standard pastry chef Lena Sareini for Rising Star Chef of the Year; and Thomas Lents (The Apparatus Room) and James Rigato (Mabel Gray) in the regional Best Chef: Great Lakes category.
Chicago chefs, which front-loaded the semifinalists list for Best Chef: Great Lakes, dominated all the finalists slots in that category today.
Chefs in Southeast Michigan have won James Beard Awards in the past — the last being chef Alex Young of Zingerman’s Roadhouse in 2011 (he’s currently working to open a new French restaurant in the area).
However, it’s been quite some time since a chef or restaurant from Michigan has made the leap from the semifinalists round to finalist. Still, each year the area’s culinary scene continues to make a competitive showing on that first round of cuts. Several of this year’s nominees including Lisa Ludwinski, James Rigato, and Standby have been nominated multiple times in their categories.
The winners will be revealed at the awards ceremony on May 7 in Chicago.
• Here Are the 2018 James Beard Awards Restaurant, Chef, and Media Finalists [E]
• Detroit Chefs and Restaurants Named Semifinalists for 2018 James Beard Awards [ED]
• All Awards Season Coverage [ED]
• All Coverage of Zingerman’s Delicatessen [ED]