Skip to main content

13 Twin Cities restaurants, chefs nominated for James Beard Awards

Just remember this the next time someone complains about Midwestern food.
Thomas Boemer, of St. Paul's In Bloom.

Thomas Boemer, of St. Paul's In Bloom.

TV host Bill Maher last week patronizingly likened Midwest food to "Chef Boyardee," so here's a story to prove how wrong he is.

That's because Twin Cities restaurants are once again well represented in the semifinals of the prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards.

The James Beard contenders were announced on Wednesday morning, with Minnesota competing in six national categories.

Meanwhile, seven Twin Cities chefs are in the running for the regional "Best Chef: Midwest" award that was won last year by Spoon & Stable's Gavin Kaysen.

National contenders include Rikki Giambruno of St. Paul's Hyacinth, who is in the running for Rising Star Chef of the Year, while Spoon & Stable/Bellecour's Diane Moua is once again nominated for Pastry Chef of the Year.

Restaurant Alma in Northeast Minneapolis is nominated in the "Outstanding Restaurant" category – the equivalent of a "Best Picture" Oscar –while another Northeast eatery, Mexican-inspired Popol Vuh, is in the running for "Best New Restaurant."

The chefs competing for this year's title of "Best Chef: Midwest" include Thomas Boemer, of the acclaimed "In Bloom" at St. Paul's Keg & Case food hall, Daniel del Prado of Martina, and Christina Nguyen of the celebrated Hai Hai.

Here's a full list of the Minnesota nominees.

Rising Star Chef of the Year 

Rikki Giambruno, Hyacinth, St. Paul

Best New Restaurant

Popol Vuh, Minneapolis

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Diane Moua, Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis

Outstanding Restaurant

Restaurant Alma, Minneapolis

Outstanding Restaurateur

Brenda Langton and Timothy Kane, Spoonriver, Minneapolis

Outstanding wine program

The Bachelor Farmer, Minneapolis

Best Chef: Midwest

Thomas Boemer, In Bloom, St. Paul

Steven Brown, Tilia, Minneapolis

Daniel del Prado, Martina, Minneapolis

Ann Kim, Young Joni, Minneapolis

Christina Nguyen, Hai Hai, Minneapolis

Karyn Tomlinson, Corner Table, Minneapolis

Jamie Malone, Grand Café, Minneapolis

Next Up


One dead, two injured in wrong-way crash on Hwy. 169

The crash occurred on Highway 169 early Sunday morning.

minneapolis police

Man fatally shot overnight in north Minneapolis

The shooting was reported around 2:20 a.m.

Screen Shot 2022-05-22 at 8.30.08 AM

Campsites closed at Voyageurs National Park due to 'historic' water levels

All backcountry trails and campsites are closed, as well as many frontcountry sites.

state capitol Minnesota

Lawmakers reach agreement on tax cuts ahead of session's end

Lawmakers announced they had reached a deal on a tax bill Saturday ahead of the looming session deadline.


Victims of daytime drive-by shooting in Robbinsdale identified

The two men died after a hail of bullets struck a vehicle.

Screen Shot 2022-05-22 at 8.14.37 AM

Source of 'loud explosion' in Brooklyn Park a mystery

The noise was investigated by police, but no source could be determined.

covid, vaccine, booster shots

COVID: All Americans over 50 advised to get a second booster

Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise again as new COVID variants emerge.

J.W. Peck (left) and Eric Galler.

2 Minnesotans inducted into White Castle's Hall of Fame

White Castle — it's what a man in Minneapolis and another in Woodbury, crave.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 5.46.37 PM

Video shows officers ended pursuit before fatal crash in Anoka

The crash occurred when the driver fled police during an attempted traffic stop in Coon Rapids.

Eli Hart

6-year-old Eli Hart identified as boy found dead in car trunk

The kindergartner's father was trying to get full custody of his son.


Boy found dead in trunk of car in Mound was kindergartner

"It is horrifying and difficult to process a tragedy of this magnitude, especially in our close-knit community," the superintendent wrote.

Minneapolis police

Man found yelling for help after being shot in Minneapolis

The shooting occurred on the 800 block of Elwood Avenue North at around 9:15 p.m.


Screen Shot 2020-02-26 at 9.49.11 AM

3 Twin Cities restaurants, 8 chefs nominated for James Beard Awards

The semifinalists for the prestigious awards have been announced.

Screen Shot 2020-02-26 at 9.49.11 AM

4 Minnesota chefs, 1 restaurant named James Beard Award finalists

Gavin Kaysen's Demi is in the running for Best New Restaurant.

Ann Kim

3 Twin Cities chefs are James Beard finalists, but restaurants miss out

No Minnesota chefs or eateries are up for national awards.

Screen Shot 2019-05-06 at 9.49.33 PM

Young Joni chef is a winner at James Beard Awards

Young Joni chef is a winner at James Beard Awards

Screen Shot 2022-02-23 at 12.17.12 PM

3 Minnesota chefs, 1 restaurant named as James Beard Award finalists

There was no spot in the final for restaurateur Kim Bartmann, whose nomination sparked controversy.

Screen Shot 2020-02-12 at 11.43.48 AM

Here are the Twin Cities restaurants, chefs who won Charlie Awards

The annual event honors achievement in the Twin Cities restaurant community.

13 MN chefs and restaurants are nominated for prestigious James Beard Awards

They're nominated for categories that include Best New Restaurant and Outstanding Chef.