From Top Chef to the Beard Awards!
The James Beard Foundation announced their massive list of this year's semifinalists for their annual awards on Wednesday—and several Top Chef alums have made the list!
So who got nominated?
Top Chef Masters host Curtis Stone is being honored for Maude, his California restaurant that launched in February of last year. He's nominated in the Best New Restaurant category.
Season 11 winner Nick Elmi is up for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic. He's nominated for his work at his restaurant in Philadelphia, Laurel, which he opened shortly after winning Top Chef. And he's been scoring great reviews too: the Philadelphia Inquirer said the dishes were "ethereal" and that Elmi's cooking "is still intricate...and his compositions now resonate with a focus on good ingredients rendered with distinctive pairings and pristine modern technique."
Fellow Season 11 alum Justin Devillier is also nominated. He's up for Best Chef: South for La Petite Grocery in New Orleans. Justin's restaurants have also been scoring amazing reviews over the years: the Times-Picayune said Justin "cooks in a manner so appropriate to New Orleans spirit: French bistro with a Southern twist," while Zagat noted that he makes "clever use of local ingredients in his expertly crafted Contemporary Louisiana-French dinners."
Greg Gourdet, who was just named the runner-up in Season 12, is nominated for Best Chef: Northwest for his Portland restaurant, Departure. Last week, he told the Daily Dish about how much he loves cooking at his space: "My restaurant is very busy....I work for a great company and they've been extremely supportive throughout the years. My restaurant is something that's really dear to me."
The competition is stiff in one category. Season 6 Fan Favorite Kevin Gillespie nabbed a spot on the semifinalists list. He's nominated for Best Chef: Southeast for his work at Gunshow in Atlanta. Season 9 contestant Edward Lee is also nominated for Best Chef: Southeast for 610 Magnolia in Louisville, KY.
With a new seaon of Top Chef slated for later this year, we expect even more future James Beard nominees in the future. Season 13 will return in fall 2015. The James Beard awards, meanwhile, will be announced on March 24; an event honoring the winners will take place May 4 in Chicago.