Earlier today, the James Beard Foundation announced the restaurant semifinalists eligible to win a prestigious James Beard Award this spring. Otherwise known as the "Oscars of the Food World," today's list of bold-faced names are later whittled down to a scroll of finalists, slated for announcement on Tuesday, March 24. And on Monday, May 4, the big reveal of winners in the Restaurant and Chef categories will take place at a gala at the Lyric Opera in Chicago.
Five Colorado chefs and restaurants are among this year's nominees:
Yasmin Lozada-Hissom formerly of Spuntino for Outstanding Pastry Chef (a curious nomination, considering she sold Spuntino last year and no longer works with the restaurant)
Dana Rodriguez of Work & Class for Best Chef: Southwest (pictured above with business partners Delores Tronco and Tony Maciag)
Frasca Food and Wine for Outstanding Restaurant
Last year, Jennifer Jasinski, co-owner and executive chef of Rioja, Euclid Hall, Bistro Vendome and Stoic & Genuine took home the Best Chef: Southwest title. Fun fact: Dana Rodriguez was chef de cuisine at Jasinski's Bistro Vendome before becoming the exec of Work & Class. The full list of this year's semifinalists is available here.