The 2012 James Beard Foundation Award semifinalists were announced this week, and we were thrilled to see so many of the chefs and restaurants we know on the list – including 8 from Maine. Especially since there were 57,000 online entries this year, a record number and up nearly 50 percent from last year. Of the 20 semifinalists for Best Chef-Northeast (upstate NY and all of New England) FIVE are from Maine – how impressive is that!
Ted has photographed a number of the semifinalists – we salute them and will be cheering for them on March 19, when the five finalists in the Restaurant and Chef categories will be announced in Las Vegas. The winners will be revealed on May 7 at the black-tie James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. For the complete list of semifinalists, visit jamesbeard.org/awards. For Meredith Goad’s excellent piece in the Portland Press Herald about all of the Maine chefs and restaurants in the semifinals, click here.
BEST NEW RESTAURANT
Petite Jacqueline – Portland, Maine
Melissa Kelly, Primo - Rockland, Maine
Fore Street – Portland, Maine (Chef/Restaurateur Sam Hayward, JBF winner Best Chef, Northeast in 2004)
BEST CHEF – NYC
Mark Ladner – Del Posto
Michael White – Marea
BEST CHEF – PACIFIC
Beverly Gannon – Hali’imaile General Store, Makawao, Hawaii