Twelve Minnesotans were named semifinalists for one of the most coveted awards in the food industry.
The James Beard Foundation awards – called the "Oscars of the food world" – honor chefs, bakers and restaurateurs for their excellence in 21 categories.
Minnesotans were named semifinalists in three categories:
They were both named semifinalists last year.
Outstanding Pastry Chef
- Diane Yang of Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis. This is her first time being named a semifinalist, WCCO reports.
Best Chef: Midwest
- Paul Berglund of The Bachelor Farmer in Minneapolis. He has been named a semifinalist three times, and a finalist twice, including in 2014 and 2015.
- First-time semifinalist Thomas Boemer of Corner Table in Minneapolis.
- Mike Brown, Bob Gerken and James Winberg of Travail Kitchen & Amusements in Robbinsdale. This is the third time the three of them have been named semifinalists.
- Jim Christiansen of Heyday in Minneapolis. Christiansen was also named a semifinalist last year.
- First-time semifinalist Jorge Guzman of Surly Brewing Co. in Minneapolis.
- Russell Klein of Meritage in St. Paul. He's been named a semifinalist three other times, including last year.
- Lenny Russo of Heartland Restaurant & Farm Direct Market in St. Paul. Russo has been a semifinalist nine times, and has been named a finalist five times, the Star Tribune says.
The semifinalists were selected from a list of more than 20,000 online entries, a news release says. The finalists will be named in each category on March 15 – you can follow along live on Twitter here.
The winners in each category will be announced at a gala event in Chicago on May 2.
The James Beard Foundation also honors cookbook authors, food journalists and culinary broadcast producers and hosts in its Book, Broadcast and Journalism Awards. The winners will be named in that at an event in New York City on April 26.