The James Beard Foundation (www.jamesbeard.org) released the list of semifinalists for the 2018 James Beard Awards, considered the Oscars of the culinary and hospitality worlds. The list of finalists will be released March 14. Winners will be announced May 7 at the annual James Beard Awards Gala in Chicago.
New Orleans restaurants, bars and restaurateurs had a strong showing in the list, particularly in the Best Chef: South category. Here are local restaurants and individuals included on the short list.
Best New Restaurant: Saffron NOLA
Outstanding Service: Brigtsen's
Outstanding Bar Program: Cure
Outstanding Wine Program: Bacchanal Wine
Outstanding Chef: Donald Link, Herbsaint, Cochon, Cochon Butcher and Peche
Outstanding Pastry Chef: Kelly Fields, Willa Jean
Outstanding Restauranteur: JoAnn Clevenger, Upperline
Best Chef: South:
Nina Compton, Compere Lapin
Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus, Coquette
Michael Gulotta, Maypop and MoPho
Slade Rushing, Brennan's
Hieu Than, Kin
Isaac Toups, Toups' Meatery, Toups South
Martha Wiggins, Sylvain (the LeBlanc + Smith restaurant group announced earlier this year that Wiggins will be departing the restaurant soon).