James Beard Finalists Announced, and Corey Lee Outperforms

Two top Minnesota chefs reel in James Beard Award nominations

Two top Minnesota chefs reel in James Beard Award nominations

The James Beard Foundation announced the nominees for the 2017 James Beard Foundation Awards today during a breakfast in Los Angeles, California.

Three Minnesota chef and restaurant semi-finalists did not advance: Diane Yang of Spoon and Stable for Outstanding Pastry Chef, Alex Roberts of Restaurant Alma for Outstanding Chef and Esker Grove for Best New Restaurant. Amy Brandwein of Centrolina and Tom Cunanan of Bad Saint were nominated in the Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic category, along with Cindy Wolf of Charleston in Baltimore. Journalism awards are handed out April 25 at Chelsea Piers in New York City.

Two Minnesota chefs remain in the running for the James Beard Awards, aka the "Oscars of the food world".

Only four North Carolina chefs have won James Beard Awards while working in the state.

Past year she won a James Beard for Outstanding Personality/Host for her PBS show "A Chef's Life".

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This is the third nomination for the chefs, who were also finalists previous year. The Esquire Tavern was a semifinalist this year for Outstanding Bar Program this year, but did not advance. The winners will be revealed May 1 in Chicago.

The Foundation announced the nominees Wednesday morning in a Facebook live video.

Last month, 18 semifinalists from New Orleans were named for the honors in dining and hospitality.

The semifinalists, announced in February, included in national categories Paul and Joe Bartolotta of Bartolotta Restaurants for outstanding restaurateur and chef Tory Miller's L'Etoile in Madison for outstanding restaurant.

Sister Pie owner Lisa Ludwinski also did not advance as a final nominee in the Outstanding Baker category.