Southwest Minneapolis is well-known as a top foodie destination in Minnesota, but who knew it might be in the running for a nationally-important food award?
Earlier this week, the James Beard Foundation announced the semifinalists for its 2013 awards, to be presented in May. Among the scores of candidates are three of Southwest Minneapolis' own—Chefs Steven Brown (Tilia) and Doug Flicker (Piccolo), and Restaurateur Kim Bartmann (Gigi's, Bread and Pickle, Barbette, Bryant-Lake Bowl, Red Stag Supper Club, Pat's Tap). Brown and Flicker will face off against 18 of their fellow Midwestern chefs for a shot at the "Best Chef: Midwest" title, while Bartmann is up against 19 peers from across the country in the "Outstanding Restaurateur" category.
14 chefs, restaurants, or Restaurateurs from Minneapolis and one from St. Paul are up for Beard awards in nine separate categories this year.
Candidates in each category face a large panel of experts, as explained by the James Beard Foundation website:
This ballot is distributed online to a voting body of over 300 previous James Beard Restaurant & Chef Award winners; 250 panelists divided evenly among 10 regions (see below); and 17 members of the Restaurant and Chef Award subcommittee. All votes count equally and are tabulated by the independent accounting firm Lutz & Carr. The 5 semifinalists with the highest number of votes become the nominees.
Nominees are announced on Mar. 18, after which point they are put through the same balloting process as semifinalists, before the judges' final decisions are announced at the May awards ceremony.
Flicker was , but didn't make the cut to be a nominee. However, he recently won a local Charlie award for "Best Chef" at the same ceremony that knighted Brown's Tilia as the "Best Restaurant" of 2012.