Saturday, February 23, 2008

More from the James Beard Nominations

Digging deeper into the long list of James Beard Award nominees, there are a few more closer to home that might be of interest to Indianapolis folks.

Best Restaurateur: Along with the Mario Batalis, Laurent Tourdels and Wolfgang Pucks, there were also Larry and Richard D'Amico. They have six restaurants in Minneapolis (including D'Amico and Sons and Masa) but some Indianapolis folks may know them by their popular restaurants in Naples, FL --the southern outposts of their Minneapolis restaurants Campiello and Cafe' Lurcat and Bar Lurcat.

Odd, but true. Steven Ells, CEO of the Denver-based Chipotle Mexican Grill chain was nominated.

Best Chef -- Great Lakes. More from the category which includes Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio. A few additional competitors (including our own Steve Oakley and Dave Tallent) include Graham Elliot Bowles (Avenues, Chicago), Jean-Robert de Cavel (John-Robert at Pigall's, Cincinnati), James Sommerville (The Lark, W. Bloomfield, Michigan), and, of course, Michael Symon (Lola, Cleveland).

Best Chef -- Southern Region: Also close to home, Louisville chefs received three nods including Todd Richards (Oak Room), Edward Lee (610 Magnolia), and Jim Gerhardt (Limestone). The Oak Room also picked up a nomination in the Best Service category.

Outstanding Restaurant: Only two Chicago nominees this year in this particular category: Arun's and Spiaggia. (But it's an odd representation, the SF nominees in this category are Green's, Slanted Door, and Boulevard, an odd combo of choices.) Of course, Grant Achatz (Alinea) was nominated for Outstanding Chef as was Sanford D'Amato (Sanford) in Milwaukee, and Jean Joho of Chicago's Everest.

Best Pastry Chef: This one's a national award and a competitive category since it includes the NY and West Coast competition. But notable is one Chicago chef, Mindy Segal (Hot Chocolate) and the pastry chef from one of my favorite Dallas institutions, La Duni -- Dunia Borga.

Outstanding Wine Service: Bin36 of Chicago shows up on this list, as it should. For you wine geeks who get out a bit, also nominated were Slanted Door (San Francisco) and Vidalia (Washington DC), River Cafe (Brooklyn), and Aureole (Las Vegas).

Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional: This group looks like a very tough category with sommeliers from almost every major restaurant entry nominated, but representin' for the midwest: Julian Van Winkle (of Pappy Van Winkle in Louisville) and Anthony Terlato of the Terlato Wine Group in Lake Bluff, IL.

Best New Restaurant: Must have opened in 2007. Nominated nationally: Basa (Louisville), Table 45 (Cleveland), Rue Domaine (Dayton), Dante (Cleveland). And as personal faves, Dean Fearing's new place in Dallas -- Fearing's -- and SPQR in San Francisco.


Anonymous said...

Why is Louisville a much better restaurant city than Indy? Makes me sad:-(

Anonymous said...

Because Indy is lame.

Blake said...

Believe me that Louisville only thinks it's a cool, hip, and nationally recognized food city. This place is still 20 yrs behind the times. I don't know much about Indy's food scene but I might be getting to know it sooner then later...
Blake Kollker