Checking Out the Local Food and Drink Scene
Feb 19, 2013
05:39 PM
The Chow Down

Local Semifinalists for 2013 James Beard Awards

Local Semifinalists for 2013 James Beard Awards

The prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards are like the Oscars of the food world. The actual awards ceremony isn't until May, but the semifinalists were announced today. Five Madison restaurants and chefs have been included this year, all deservingly so and a fine representation of the local food scene.

Forequarter was included among the twenty-nine restaurants nation-wide for Best New Restaurant. Check out two of our recent articles on this new restaurant from Underground Food Collective: "Forbidden Fruit" and "In a Pickle." 

A nod for Outstanding Wine Program goes to L’Etoile. Michael Kwas, the restaurant’s wine director, pens a monthly column for Madison Magazine. L’Etoile’s (and Graze’s) executive chef Tory Miller was the recipient of the 2012 James Beard Award for Best Chef of the Midwest.

If you’ve dined at Nostrano, it may come as no surprise that Elizabeth Dahl is up for Outstanding Pastry Chef. The downtown restaurant was named Madison’s Best Restaurant in last year’s Best of Madison readers’ poll.

Elizabeth Dahl’s husband Timothy was one of Madison Magazine’s Best New Chefs in our October 2011 cover story, but Madison food lovers should start paying even closer attention to the newest generation of local chefs. Daniel Bonanno of A Pig in a Fur Coat received a listing in James Beard’s Rising Star Chef of the Year category. We’ve featured this Willy Street eatery in Madison Magazine twice since it opened last spring: "Fabulous Flavors" and "Swine Time." 

As mentioned above, Tory Miller received the prize of Best Chef of the Midwest in 2012. The tradition continues, at least until the list is narrowed in the next round (fingers crossed), with dynamic duo John Gadau and Phillip Hurley. The two are semifinalists for their work with Sardine, but they also run Marigold Kitchen and the new Monroe Street restaurant Gates & Brovi. We’ve featured Sardine many times in the pages Madison Magazine, with a recent nod to their house burger in our Best Burgers feature story.  

We’d also like to give a shout-out to our neighbors in Milwaukee. Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge is a semifinalist in the Outstanding Cocktail Program category (we included Bryant’s in our January travel story), and chefs from restaurants Sanford and Braise are up for Best Chef of the Midwest. Three cheers for the Dairy State!

The finalists, who are the official nominees for the James Beard Awards, will be announced on March 18, and the winners will then be announced on May 6 at the Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in New York City during the James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony. Click here to see all of this year's semifinalists. 

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