The 2015 James Beard Award
semifinalists were announced this morning, and the list
includes five New Orleans chefs in the Best Chef: South category. Justin Devillier
of La Petite Grocery; Slade Rushing
of Brennan's; Alon Shaya
of Domenica; Michael Stoltzfus
of Coquette; and Isaac Toups
of Toups' Meatery are among the 20 semifinalists in the category.
Also nominated for Outstanding Chef was Donald Link
for his restaurant Herbsaint (Link also operates Cochon and Peche). Longtime Upperline Restaurant proprietor JoAnn Clevenger
received a nod in the Outstanding Restaurateur category; Brigtsen’s was nominated for Outstanding Service; and Kelly Fields
of Restaurant August was recognized in the Outstanding Pastry Chef category.
New Orleans also did well in Outstanding Bar Program, placing two local bars among the 20 semifinalists: Arnaud’s French 75 and Cane & Table.
Though New Orleans is going through a boom of new restaurants, not one placed in the Best New Restaurant category. Last year, Link's Peche took home the national award.
More than 35,000 submissions were made this year during an open call, according to a press release from the James Beard Foundation. Finalists will be announced at a ceremony in New York City March 24. The annual gala, where the winners will be revealed, will be held May 4 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.