A clutch of familiar names from the world of New Orleans food and drink have been nominated for James Beard Foundation awards.
Last month, more than a dozen New Orleans chefs, restaurants and bars were named as semifinalists. Today, the New York-based culinary group released its finalists, culling the list of local nominees to eight. Winners will be revealed May 2 at a gala in Chicago.
Most of the local nominees are familiar with the road toward these prestigious honors, having nabbed similar nominations in the past or having won earlier James Beard awards in different categories.
In addition, a number of New Orleans-based writers have been nominated for the group’s media awards, which will be presented April 26 in New York.
New Orleans contenders by category are:
Donald Link picked up his third consecutive nomination for this award. The Louisiana native and his restaurant group have won numerous James Beard awards in the past, and in 2014 his Pêche Seafood Grill won the national award for Best New Restaurant.
Best New Restaurant
Shaya, the modern Israeli restaurant from chef Alon Shaya and the Besh Restaurant Group, has been a magnet for honors since opening last year, and its drawn another with this nomination for Best New Restaurant. Last year, Alon Shaya was the only New Orleans chef to bring home a James Beard Award, winning the group’s regional award for Best Chef: South.
Best Chef: South
New Orleans chefs nabbed three of the five slots in this regional award category:
Justin Devillier, of La Petite Grocery
Slade Rushing, of Brennan’s Restaurant
Isaac Toups, of Toups’ Meatery
They join Vishwesh Bhatt, of Snackbar in Oxford, Mississippi and Jose Enrique, of Jose Enrique in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in the running.
Outstanding Bar Program
Outstanding Wine Program
New Orleans-based writers nominated for media awards this year include:
Tina Antolini, for podcasts in the audio series Gravy from the Southern Foodways Alliance
Rien Fertel, for “(The New) Broadway, NOLA” in The Local Palate
Brett Martin, for “The Chef Who Saved My Life” in GQ
Julia Reed, for “Stone-Ground Killer” in Garden & Gun
Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter @IanMcNultyNOLA.