Cured Chef Named Beard's Best of the Southwest Nominee

Ivan Schwartz
March 15, 2018

Rhode Island's other semifinalists this year were Al Forno's Johanne Killeen for Best Chef in a national category and Champe Speidel of Persimmon.

Renowned Raleigh chef Ashley Christensen has been nominated for the James Beard Award for the country's Outstanding Chef. Link has been nominated for this award four times in the past. For the first time, Anvil Bar & Refuge is a finalist for Outstanding Bar Program.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony in Chicago on May 7. Those who made the cut include Ken Oringer (Coppa, Little Donkey, Toro, Uni) for Outstanding Restaurateur, and Maura Kilpatrick of Sofra Bakery and Cafe in Cambridge for Outstanding Baker. Ella Brennan, Martin's mother and Brennan's aunt, received the same honor in 1984 and received the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. She was also a nominee in 2017.

Check back for the full list of local finalists.

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Highlands, which has been a finalist every year since 2009, has yet to win the elusive top restaurant award. Brett Anderson is up for the investigative reporting award for his story on sexual harassment allegations at John Besh's restaurant company.

The James Beard Foundation has recognized Hamilton's New American fare, Robbins' housemade pastas, Williams' small French plates and Cohen's vegetable-centric dishes as noteworthy contenders in years past. The last two winners for Northeast were from ME and NY.

Separate from its chef and restaurant awards, and announced well in advance, the America's Classic Award is meant to recognize establishments of "timeless appeal" that serve food "that reflects the character of their communities", according to the foundation.

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