St. Louis missed the cut Wednesday as the James Beard Foundation revealed the nominees for its prestigious annual awards. None of the area James Beard Award semifinalists announced in February — six chefs and one restaurant — are among this year’s finalists.
Four St. Louis chefs were announced last month as semifinalists for the “Best Chef: Midwest” category: Rob Connoley of Bulrush, Craig Rivard of Little Fox, Evy Swoboda of Brasserie by Niche and Ben Welch of Botanica. (Welch is no longer Botanica’s chef.)
This year’s nominees for “Best Chef: Midwest” include three chefs from Milwaukee and three from Minneapolis. The Midwest category covers restaurants in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
In addition, Ben Grupe of Tempus was a semifinalist for “Emerging Chef” and Elise Mensing of Brasserie by Niche was a semifinalist for “Outstanding Pastry Chef,” both nationwide categories. Vicia was a semifinalist for two nationwide categories, “Outstanding Wine Program” and “Outstanding Bar Program.”
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The James Beard Awards have returned in 2022 after a two-year hiatus. The 2020 awards were canceled before the winners could be announced. (Michael Gallina of Vicia was a nominee for “Best Chef: Midwest” that year.) No awards were held in 2021.
The 2022 awards ceremony is scheduled for June 13 in Chicago. The full list of nominees is here.