James Beard Awards Semi-Finalists Announced

Facebook/James Beard Foundation

Semi-finalists for the James Beard Awards have been announced in Orlando.

Orlando, Florida, home to America’s favorite theme parks and a growing farm-to-table movement, hosted this year’s announcement of the James Beard Award semi-finalists for each of the 20 categories. James Beard Foundation president Susan Ungaro announced the semi-finalists this morning at East End Market, the largest urban market in the Southeast.

This year’s James Beard Awards will take place, as usual, in New York on May 2nd and May 5th. The theme of the ceremonies will be “Sounds of the City,” which will combine the joys of food and music.

“Our 2014 awards celebrate the enduring relationship between music and food.”, announced James Beard Foundation President Susan Ungaro at the semi-finalist announcement. “This year’s gala celebrates how both music and food enriches food across America.”

Here are some of this year’s semi-finalists, pulled from a pool of 38,000 online entries, and from which the official nominees will be selected and announced in Chicago in March.

The Outstanding Chef semi-finalists include Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern, Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune; both from New York City, David Kinch of Manresa in California, Donald Link of Herbsaint in New Orleans, Michael Tusk of Quince in San Francisco, and Marc Vetri of Vetri in Philadelphia.

For Outstanding Restaurant, the semi-finalists include Foreign Cinema in San Francisco, Fork in Philadelphia, Primo in Rockland, Maine, Spiaggia in Chicago; and New York City’s Hearth, Pearl Oyster Bar, and wd~50.

One of the more exciting awards is Rising Chef of the Year, where chefs under 30 are recognized by the James Beard Foundation.

“Our responsibility is to nurture the next generation of chefs,” President Ungaro said.

This year’s pool of semi-finalists in that category include Jimmy Bannos Jr. of the Purple Pig in Chicago, Ill., Daniel Delaney of Delaney Barbecue in Brooklyn, N.Y., Casey Lane of Tasting Kitchen in Venice, Calif., Andrew Le of The Pig and the Lady in Honolulu, Hawaii, Ari Taymor of Alma in Los Angeles, and another semi-finalist nomination for wd-50’s Malcolm Livingston II.

A few local chefs in Orlando were recognized as well in the Best of the South category. James and Julie Petrakis of The Ravenous Pig in Winter Park snagged their second nomination. Hari Pulpaka of Cress in DeLand, and Henry Salgado of the Spanish River Grill in New Smyrna Beach were also recognized.

From the homeland of the James Beard Awards in New York, Best Chefs semi-finalists include April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig, Amanda Cohen of Dirt Candy, Dan Kluger of ABC Kitchen, Mark Ladner of Del Posto, Anita Lo of Annisa, and Joe Ng of Red Farm.

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Check out the full list of semi-finalists.