2014 James Beard Award semifinalists announced

Chicago-area chefs and restaurants earned 25 semifinalist nominations

Carrie Nahabedian picked up Beard nominations for Brindille and Naha.

The semifinalists for the 2014 James Beard Awards were announced this morning, and Chicago-area chefs and restaurants picked up 25 nominations. The finalists will be announced March 19 at the Publican.

What can we take away the nominations? Well, it makes sense that the next round will be held at the Publican, since One Off Hospitality earned six of the nominations, with two each for Blackbird and Nico, as well as restaurateur Donnie Madia and the Violet Hour. Speaking of the Violet Hour, it was the single Chicago nomination for bar program, which seems so dated—other Chicago bars are much more cutting edge, and if a new restaurant like Nico can earn two nominations, so can a new bar. The Aviary won the award last year. Also, Spiaggia is closed for renovations after Sarah Grueneberg left, and will be reopening this spring.

Here are all the local nominees, which includes Milwaukee and Three Floyds.

Best New Restaurant
Ardent, Milwaukee
Brindille
Nico Osteria

Outstanding Bar Program
The Violet Hour

Outstanding Chef
Carrie Nahabedian, Naha

Outstanding Pastry Chef
Dana Cree, Blackbird

Outstanding Restaurant
Spiaggia

Outstanding Restaurateur
Donnie Madia, One Off Hospitality Group

Outstanding Service
L2O
Topolobampo

Outstanding Wine Program
Sepia

Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional
Don Feinberg and Wendy Littlefield, Vanberg & DeWulf, Chicago-based
Mike Floyd, Nick Floyd, Simon Floyd, Three Floyds Brewing, Munster, IN

Rising Star Chef of the Year
Jimmy Bannos Jr., The Purple Pig
Matthew Kirkley, L2O
David Posey, Blackbird

Best Chef: Great Lakes
Dave Beran, Next
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

Here's the full list of nominees.

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