Pittsburgh chefs nominated for James Beard Foundation Awards

Posted February 17, 2017

Once again, Brad Kilgore (Alter and Brava) is a semifinalist for the Rising Star Chef, presented to a chef aged 30 or younger "who displays an impressive talent and who is likely to make a significant impact on the industry in years to come".

Anyone can nominate someone to be a semifinalist in 21 categories; this year, the semifinalists were chosen from more than 24,000 entries.

The awards include top honors such as Outstanding Restaurateur, Best Chef, Outstanding Restaurant and Best New Restaurant.

This morning, the James Beard Foundation released its list of 2017 James Beard Award semifinalists, which are widely regarded as the most coveted culinary awards in the U.S.

Charleston was recognized for the work of Chef Cindy Wolf and nominated for its wine program, which is a national award that Charleston has been recognized for in the past.

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Restaurants in this category must have been in operation 10 or more years. Owner and executive chef Spike Gjerde won Best Chef Mid-Atlantic in 2015, bringing home Baltimore's first-ever James Beard Award.

Last year's big wins went to La Petite Grocery and Balise's Justin Devillier for Best Chef: South and to Alon Shaya, whose eponymous Israeli restaurant was named the country's Best New Restaurant.

Chris Bianco's flagship restaurant, Pizzeria Bianco, has been nominated several times for Outstanding Restaurant. They are Brian Hill of Francine in Camden, who has now made the list eight times; Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley of Eventide Oyster, who are semifinalists for a third time; Ravin Nakjaroen of Long Grain in Camden, who made the list twice before; and Keiko Suzuki of Suzuki's Sushi Bar in Rockland, who was also nominated past year. Those nominees will be revealed in real time on Facebook Live and Twitter.

Finalists will be announced March 15, and the awards announced May 1 in Chicago.