James Beard Awards finalists were announced Wednesday, and two Colorado restaurants and one chef made it to the 2018 list. Winners of the national non-profit’s prestigious annual awards will be announced on May 7 in categories from Outstanding Restaurant to Best Chef: Southwest.
Colorado finalists are The Little Nell in Aspen for Outstanding Wine Program, Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder for Outstanding Restaurant, and Alex Seidel in Denver for Best Chef: Southwest. Seidel owns two Denver restaurants: Fruition and Mercantile Dining & Provision. He is nominated this year alongside Martín Rios of Santa Fe’s Restaurant Martín and Bryce Gilmore of Barley Swine in Austin, among others. This is Frasca’s second year in a row as a finalist for Outstanding Restaurant. Other 2018 finalists in the category include Balthazar in New York and Quince in San Francisco.
No Colorado restaurant has previously won in the Outstanding Restaurant category. Frasca has already garnered two James Beard Awards, though, for its wine program in 2013 and for its founding chef, Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, in 2008. Jennifer Jasinski, of Rioja fame, is the first and last Denver chef to take home the award for Best Chef: Southwest in 2013.
Winners of the 2018 James Beard Awards will be announced on May 7 at a ceremony in Chicago.
Clarification: Colorado-based Shears Adkins Rockmore architects and High Country News are also nominated for 2018 James Beard Awards in design and journalism, respectively.