New Orleans chefs and restaurants make James Beard semifinalist list

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NEW ORLEANS — The James Beard Foundation announced its 2020 Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists. And, New Orleans is well represented.

Thirteen local chefs and restaurants appear on the list:

Best New Restaurant

  • Gianna

Outstanding Baker

  • Graison Gill, Bellegarde Bakery

Outstanding Chef

  • Donald Link, Herbsaint

Outstanding Hospitality

  • Brigtsen’s

Outstanding Restaurateur

  • JoAnn Clevenger, Upperline Restaurant

Outstanding Wine Program

  • Bacchanal

Rising Star Chef of the Year

  • Ana Castro, Thalia

Best Chef: South (AL, AR, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, FL, LA, MS)

  • Blake Aguillard and William “Trey” Smith, Saint-Germain
  • Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus, Coquette
  • Hao Gong, LUVI Restaurant
  • Michael Gulotta, Maypop
  • Mason Hereford, Turkey and the Wolf
  • Isaac Toups, Toups’ Meatery

The James Beard Award is considered one of the most prestigious awards in the culinary world. Past winners in New Orleans include Emeril Lagasse, John Besh, Tory McPhail, and Nina Compton.

Donald Link, who is a semifinalist in this year’s Outstanding Chef category, won an award in 2007 in the Best Chef: South category.

The next step is the nominee announcement March 25. The 2020 James Beard Awards Gala is May 4 in Chicago.

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