The James Beard Foundation announced the finalists for its prestigious awards this morning and Colorado was represented in two categories: Outstanding Restaurant and Best Chef Southwest.
Frasca Food and Wine, the acclaimed Boulder restaurant owned by master sommelier Bobby Stuckey and chef Lachlan Patterson, was among five finalists in the Outstanding Restaurant category. A national honor, this award is given to restaurants that have been open for more than ten years. The other contenders are Chicago's Alinea, New York City's Momofuku Noodle Bar and the Spotted Pig, and Birmingham's Highlands Bar and Grill (a finalist for the 8th consecutive time in this category!). In 2013, the Frasca team brought back to Colorado the national Outstanding Wine Program Award, a category in which the Little Nell was a semi-finalist in this year.
Chef Alex Seidel of Fruition and Mercantile Dining & Provision has been named finalist in the Best Chef Southwest category. Seidel has been a semi-finalist in this category since 2008. This is his first time on the finalist category that also includes Bryce Gilmore of Barley Swine (Austin), Steve McHugh of Cured (San Antonio), Hugo Ortega of Caracol and Justin Yu of Oxheart (both Houston).
In 2013, chef Jennifer Jasinski of Rioja, Stoic & Genuine, and Euclid Hall, brought home the award in the Best Chef Southwest category.
The winners of the awards will be announced during a gala in Chicago on May 2.