Four Asheville-area chefs are James Beard Award Semifinalists

Four Asheville-area chefs are James Beard Award Semifinalists

Four individuals from Indianapolis were announced as semifinalists in this year's awards: Martha Hoover of Patachou fame for Outstanding Restaurateur, Alan Sternberg of Cerulean for Rising Star Chef of the Year, and two nominees for Best Chef: Great Lakes award in Abbi Merriss of Bluebeard, and Steven Oakley of Oakley's Bistro.

Corktown's Lady of the House semifinalist for Best New Restaurant.

Finalists will be announced on March 14 and the winners will be announced at the gala in Chicago on May 7th.

The awards are widely considered the country's top honor in dining and hospitality, and the semifinalists named today made one step toward them.

The Living Room at The Dewberry, Charleston, nominated for Outstanding Bar Program.

Mike Lata, The Ordinary, Charleston, nominated for Outstanding Chef. Ashley Christensen of Poole's Diner in Raleigh is up for the national award Outstanding Chef and David Bauer of Farm & Sparrow in Asheville is on the list for Outstanding Baker. Eligible candidates must have been working as a chef for the past five years. Nominated for the Best Chef: Midwest category. The Ordinary was nominated as Best New Restaurant in 2013.

Metro Detroit was shut out in the categories of Outstanding Chef, Outstanding Pastry Chef, Outstanding Restaurant, Outstanding Restaurateur, Outstanding Wine Program and Outstanding Wine Spirits or Beer Professional.

Stern has become the artisanal baker of record in South Florida, selling his kosher breads and pastries out of his Wynwood bakery and expanding into all Whole Foods Markets in South Florida. L'Etoile was nominated in the category of "Outstanding Restaurant" previous year as well. The Bartolotta Restaurants in Milwaukee are semifinalists for Outstanding Restauranteur. This is Tony's first appearance as a James Beard Awards semifinalist.

Hunter was also a semifinalist for "Best Chef: Midwest" in 2015 and 2016. FIG is owned by Mike Lata.