By: Lorene Yue, Crain’s Chicago
One Off Hospitality Group and chef Carrie Nahabedian emerged as semifinalists for the 2014 James Beard Foundation awards.
The awards, considered the Oscars of the culinary industry, today revealed semifinalists in 10 major categories. There also are semifinalists for Best Chef in 10 U.S. regions. Chicago-area chefs, restaurateurs and beverage-industry workers were nominated in each of 10 major categories, as well as Best Chef in the Great Lakes Region.
One Off Hospitality, owners of Blackbird, Violet Hour and Nico Osteria, has semifinalists in six categories including Best New Restaurant and Rising Chef of the Year. Ms. Nahabedian, who co-owns Naha and Brindille restaurants, is a semifinalist in the Outstanding Chef and Best New Restaurant categories.
Earning a James Beard Foundation award is a process that starts with an open call for entries. More than 38,000 entries were whittled down to the list of semifinalists. A group of more than 600 culinary industry representatives then choose the finalists, which will be announced March 18 at Publican restaurant.
Chicago landed three James Beard Awards last year,including chef Paul Kahan sharing the award with David Chang of New York’s Momofuku restaurants.
Restaurant and chef winners are revealed May 5 in New York. Winners for book, broadcast and journalism categories are announced May 2.
A look at Chicago-area semifinalists:
Best New Restaurant
Carrie Nahabedian, Naha
Outstanding Pastry Chef
Dana Cree, Blackbird
Donnie Madia, One Off Hospitality Group
Outstanding Bar Program
Outstanding Wine Program
Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Professional
Mike, Nick and Simon Floyd, Three Floyds Brewing
Rising Star Chef of the Year
Jimmy Bannos Jr., Purple Pig
Matthew Kirkley, L2O
David Posey, Blackbird
Best Chef: Great Lakes Region
Dave Beran, Next, Chicago
Abraham Conlon and Adrienne Lo, Fat Rice
Curtis Duffy, Grace
Paul Fehribach, Big Jones
Phillip Foss, EL Ideas
Ryan McCaskey, Acadia
Iliana Regan, Elizabeth
Jason Vincent, Nightwood
Paul Virant, Vie Restaurant
Erling Wu-Bower, Nico Osteria
Andrew Zimmerman, Sepia
Follow On Dining on Twitter at @CrainsLife.