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2015 James Beard Awards give nod to New Orleans chefs and restaurants



The 2015 James Beard Foundation Award for Excellence ( semifinalists were announced last week, and the list includes five New Orleans chefs in the Best Chef: South category. Justin Devillier of La Petite Grocery (4238 Magazine St., 504-891-3377;; Slade Rushing of Brennan's (417 Royal St., 504-525-9711;; Alon Shaya of Domenica (123 Baronne St., 504-628-6020;; Michael Stoltzfus of Coquette (2800 Magazine St., 504-265-0421;; and Isaac Toups of Toups' Meatery (845 N. Carrollton Ave., 504-252-4999; 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 (1413 Upperline St., 504-891-9822; proprietor JoAnn Clevenger received a nod in the Outstanding Restaurateur category; Brigtsen's (723 Dante St., 504-861-7610; was nominated for Outstanding Service; and Kelly Fields of Restaurant August (301 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-299-9777; 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 (813 Bienville St., 504-523-5433; and Cane & Table (1113 Decatur St., 504-581-1112;

  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 (800 Magazine St., 504-522-1744; 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, and the annual awards gala will be held May 4 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

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