Dominic Massa / EyewitnessNews
Nearly a dozen New Orleans chefs including Brian Landry and John Besh, whose Borgne is one of 30 national nominees for best new restaurant - are semifinalists, or nominees, for James Beard Foundation awards.
With the announcement Tuesday, the local contenders move a step closer to earning one of the coveted restaurant and food industry awards when they are handed out in May.
Borgne, Landry and Besh's partnership restaurant located inside the Hyatt Regency hotel, is nominated for best new restaurant. Besh's original Restaurant August is also nominated, as one of 20 nationwide semifinalists for outstanding restaurant.
Herbsaint chef Donald Link, a previous Beard award winner, is nominated again as a semifinalist in the outstanding chef category.
Chef Frank Brigtsen's Riverbend standout Brigtsen's is nominated for best service.
As usual, several local chefs are semifinalists for Best Chef: South. They include: Justin Devillier, La Petite Grocery; Tory McPhail, Commander's Palace; Alon Shaya, Domenica; Michael Stoltzfus, Coquette; and frequent nominee Sue Zemanick of Gautreau's. Five of the twenty semifinalists are from NewOrleans. Devillier, Shaya and McPhail were all nominated last year but all came home empty-handed.
Cure, the popular Freret St. cocktail bar, is a semifinalist this year for outstanding bar program and the recently updated Grill Room at the Windsor Court Hotel is nominated for outstanding wine program.
Finalists will be announced March 18 with the final round of winners announced in May in New York.
Also honored in May will be superstar chef Emeril Lagasse who will be presented with the foundation's Humanitarian of the Year award.