2014, February Local James Beard NomineesJanuary 19, 2014: The James Beard Foundation, the nation’s premier culinary organization, announced the semi-finalists for the 2014 James Beard Awards on Wednesday. Commonly called the Oscars of the food world, the awards showcase the best in the culinary community nationwide.
Santa Feans Martin Rios of Restaurant Martin and James Campbell Caruso of La Boca were both nominated as semi-finalists for Best Chef: Southwest. Each has been nominated for the distinction previously.
In one of the toughest categories, Best New Restaurant, Izanami at Ten Thousand Waves made the semi-finalists list. Congratulations have to go out to owners Duke Klauch and Deborah Fleig and chef Kim Muller for the recognition.
Former Santa Feans honored for their work elsewhere included John Rivera Sedlar and his Rivera in downtown Los Angeles for Best Chef: West and Kevin Nashan, whose family operated the venerated La Tertulia, of Sidney Street Café in St. Louis for Best Chef: Midwest.
Other New Mexicans nominated for awards: Ron Cooper of Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal was honored with a nomination in the Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional category for his superlative artisanal mezcals. Cooper and his company are based in Ranchos de Taos. Jennifer James of Jennifer James 101 in Albuquerque and Frederick Mueller of El Meze in Taos were again nominated for Best Chef:Southwest. New to the Beard list this year are Jonathan Perno of La Merienda at Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm in Los Rancho de Albuquerque and Rob Connelly, of Silver City’s Curious Kumquat, were also nominated for Best Chef: Southwest.
Thanks to James Beard Award winner Cheryl Alters Jamison and her Tasting New Mexico blog for the information.