The James Beard Foundation released the list of semi-finalists for its 2012 culinary awards, and plenty of New Orleans names are in the running.
Donald Link of Herbsaint, Cochon and Cochon Butcher is up for the Outstanding Chef award, and Sue Zemanick of Gautreau's is up for a Rising Star Chef of the Year award, marking the fourth consecutive year she has been nominated for this honor.
Four of the five nominees for the Best Chef: South award this year work in New Orleans. They include Justin Devillier of La Petit Grocery, John Harris of Lilette, Tory McPhail of Commander's Palace and Alon Shaya of Domenica. Emeril's Restaurant made the cut as a semi-finalist for the Outstanding Wine Service award and John Besh's cookbook My Family Table: A Passionate Plea for Home Cooking is up for an award too.
Brett Anderson, restaurant writer for The Times-Picayune, sits on the foundation's Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee. He's also nominated for a James Beard honor of his own in the foundation's journalism awards category for a pair of stories documenting a family of oyster fishermen in Lafourche Parish after the BP oil disaster.
Award winners will be named on May 4 and 7 at events in New York.