This story is from 2016.

More than a dozen New Orleans restaurants and chefs are in the running for a James Beard Award this spring, with the semifinalists announced Wednesday.

Chef Donald Link of Herbsaint is nominated for Outstanding Chef. His other local restaurants include Cochon and Peche.

Five local chefs are nominated in the Best Chef: South category: Justin Devillier, La Petite Grocery; Michael Gulotta, MoPho; Slade Rushing, Brennan's; Michael Stoltzfus, Coquette; Isaac Toups, Toups' Meatery. They are on a list of 20 semifinalists in that category, along with chefs from across the Gulf Coast.

Shaya, the restaurant partnership between namesake chef Alon Shaya and John Besh, is a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant in America. It previously earned that title in the pages of Esquire Magazine. Chef Alon Shaya earned the James Beard award last year in the Best Chef: South category.

Besh's flagship Restaurant August is also nominated for outstanding service, as is Brigtsen's.

Frequent nominees Arnaud's French 75 Bar and Cure are nominated for outstanding bar program. Commander's Palace is nominated for its wine program.

Past nominee JoAnn Clevenger of Upperline is nominated once again for outstanding restaurateur. Kelly Fields of Willa Jean is nominated for outstanding pastry chef.

This list will be narrowed down to a list of finalists, to be announced March 15.

New Orleans already has one winner locked in at this year's competition - legendary chef and Dooky Chase Restaurant owner Leah Chase will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the James Beard Foundation at the awards ceremony May 2 in Chicago.


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