11 Twin Cities chefs, restaurants among James Beard semifinalists

Jamie Malone and her Grand Cafe are among the nominees.

The best of the best in the U.S. food world have been selected for this year's James Beard Awards semifinals – and the Twin Cities is well represented.

There are 11 Minnesota-based nominations in the semifinalists released by the prestigious James Beard Foundation on Thursday – 6 of them in the Best Chef: Midwest category.

National nominations include the Grand Cafe in Minneapolis, which re-opened in May to critical acclaim under the guidance of head chef Jamie Malone and is up for the Best New Restaurant award.


– El Burrito Mercado is taking over Pepito's

Malone, a semifinalist for Rising Star Chef in 2013 and Best Chef in 2014, is up for the Best Chef: Midwest in the 2018 awards.

Elsewhere, Diane Yang's miraculous dessert creations at Spoon and Stable has seen her nominated for Outstanding Pastry Chef.

Michelle Gayer of the Salty Tart has picked up her 11th James Beard nomination, and for the second year in a row it's in the Outstanding Baker category. 

Alex Roberts of Restaurant Alma in Minneapolis is the only Minnesota chef in the running for the Outstanding Chef award, while the 112 Eatery is in the running for Outstanding Service.

Here's the full list of Minnesota nominees.

Outstanding Baker
Michelle Gayer, Salty Tart, Minneapolis (and St. Paul!)

Outstanding Chef
Alex Roberts, Restaurant Alma, Minneapolis

Outstanding Pastry Chef
Diane Yang, Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis

Best New Restaurant
Grand Cafe, Minneapolis

Outstanding Service
112 Eatery, Minneapolis

Best Chef: Midwest
Thomas Boemer, Corner Table, Minneapolis
Steven Brown, Tilia, Minneapolis
Gavin Kaysen, Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis
Ann Kim, Young Joni, Minneapolis
Jamie Malone, Grand Cafe, Minneapolis
Christina Nguyen, Hai Hai, Minneapolis

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