11 Twin Cities semifinalists nominated for James Beard Awards

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Eleven Twin Cities chefs and businesses were named as semifinalists in the 2014 James Beard Foundation Awards for restaurants and chefs on Wednesday.

The awards began in 1990 and have been likened to the “Oscars of the food world,” according to the Star Tribune.

Minnesota's semifinalists include:

Outstanding Bar Program:

­– Marvel Bar, Minneapolis

Outstanding Chef:

– Isaac Becker, 112 Eatery, Minneapolis

Outstanding Service:

– Restaurant Alma, Minneapolis

Outstanding Pastry Chef:

– Steve Horton, Rustica Bakery, Minneapolis

Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional:

– Eric Seed, Haus Alpenz, Edina

Best Chef, Midwest:

– Paul Berglund, The Bachelor Farmer, Minneapolis
– Steven Brown, Tilia, Minneapolis
– Doug Flicker, Piccolo, Minneapolis
– Michelle Gayer, Salty Tart, Minneapolis
– Jamie Malone, Sea Change, Minneapolis
– Lenny Russo, Heartland Restaurant & Farm Direct Market, St. Paul

At last year's awards, two Minnesotans – Jack Riebel, the chef and co-owner of Butcher & the Boar, and repeat nominee Gayer, the chef and owner of Salty Tart – were nominated as finalists for the the best chef in the Midwest, but fell short. The trophy went to Colby Garrelts of Bluestem in Kansas City.

Twin Cities-based chef and TV personality Andrew Zimmern won the 2013 James Beard Award "Outstanding Personality/Host."

Final nominations in each category will be announced March 19. Winners will be announced at an event in New York City on May 2 and 5.

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Just remember this the next time someone complains about Midwestern food.