Today, James Beard Foundation announced the nation's semifinalists for 2016's Restaurant and Chef Awards, and in about a month's time (March 15), the foundation will do it again, when it releases its list of final nominees, including those for Restaurant Design, Book, Broadcast, and Journalism. But for right now, we're focusing on the current list of semifinalists, because Philly shows up big.
Fork makes the list for Outstanding Restaurant, while its bread-savant, Alex Bois, gets a nomination for Rising Star Chef of the Year, and its chef/co-owner Eli Kulp, Eater's Philly Chef of the Year, joins a group of seven others nominated for Best Chefs in the Mid-Atlantic:
- Scott Anderson, Elements, Princeton, NJ
- Joey Baldino, Zeppoli, Collingswood, NJ
- Hari Cameron, a(MUSE.), Rehoboth Beach, DE
- Joe Cicala, Le Virtù
- Eli Kulp, Fork
- Rich Landau, Vedge
- Konstantinos Pitsillides, Kanella South
- Greg Vernick, Vernick Food & Drink
Meanwhile, Philly's Outstanding Chef nominees go to Michael Solomonov and Marc Vetri. And in the world of pastry and bread, Andre Chin and Amanda Eap, baker/owners of Artisan Boulanger Patissier, rep Philly for Outstanding Baker, and Kate Jacoby gets an Outstanding Pastry Chef nomination for her impressive work at dairy-free Vedge.
Stephen Starr, of course, gets his annual nomination for Outstanding Restaurateur, Zahav gets on the board for stellar service, and The Olde Bar, alongside Tired Hands Fermentaria, get noms for Outstanding Bar Programs — deservedly so.
On Monday, May 2, the foundation will announce the winners for this year's awards for Restaurant, Chef, and Restaurant Design at a gala at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.