This afternoon the James Beard Foundation announced the final nominees for its 2011 awards. Sanford's Justin Aprahamian has made it to the next round.
Aprahamian, who was nominated for the second straight year and this year in two categories -- Rising Star Chef of the Year and Best Chef: Midwest -- has advanced in the latter category. We'll find out whether or not he wins when the final victors are announced on May 9 at Lincoln Center in New York.
"It is definitely satisfying," Aprahamian says of getting noticed by the prestigious Beard Foundation.
"It's not the point of what we do, but it's most certainly accepted. It's quite the group of people to have your name mentioned with. As for my response last year to the first nomination, Sandy told me over dinner, and all I could say was "Are you f-ing kidding me?!" It was a strange feeling, like somebody is paying attention, and perhaps even enjoyed what we were doing."
The other finalists in the category are Tory Miller of Madison's L'Etoile, Isaac Becker of Minneapolis' 112 Eatery, Colby Garrelts, of Bluestern in Kansas City, Mo., and Lenny Russo of Heartland in St. Paul, Minn.
Hinterland's Dan Van Rite was also a semi-finalist in the Best Chef: Midwest category but did not make it through.
Meanwhile, Watts Tea Shop is among the winners of Beard's Our America’s Classics Award -- for restaurants more than a decade old.
Other winners include Chef Vola’s in Atlantic City, N.J., Crook's Corner, Chapel Hill, N.C., Noriega Restaurant & Hotel in Bakersfield, Calif., and New York's Le Veau d’Or.
We'll have a full interview with Aprahamian in coming days. Stay tuned.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Bobby Tanzilo
Published Nov. 25, 2014
When Mayor Tom Barrett visited Highland Community School on Monday to welcome home a group of adolescent students from China, the trip -- according to the students themselves -- wasn't officially over yet. Today, it is officially complete.
Published Nov. 25, 2014
This year, Dental Associates completed its restoration of the Iron Block Building -- actually a pair of connected buildings dating from 1860 and 1899 -- and the work put a gorgeous new luster on one of Downtown's most aged landmarks. As Milwaukee's only iron-facade building, it's a real Milwaukee gem. To look at the historic Iron Block Building on the corner of Water and Wisconsin now, you'd be hard-pressed to believe it almost didn't survive.
Published Nov. 24, 2014
The photomontages created by Eau Claire's Then and Now Photography seamlessly meld images of the same place but from different eras, creating a fascinating and unique look at how familiar sites in Milwaukee have changed over the years.
Published Nov. 22, 2014
The world's most famous ice skating rink shimmers beneath what must be the most impressive urban tree, perhaps in the world, and the shop windows in the Center and along Fifth Avenue must be seen to be believed. Crowds queue to see the holiday spectacular at Radio City Music Hall and Times Square is decked out in green and red. And all America comes to check it out.
Published Nov. 21, 2014
Few likely know the idea of farm to table better than new Blue Jacket chef Justice Neal. Neal, after all, went from farm to table himself, having grown up on 40 acres near Beloit. Recently, Neal, who served as the restaurant's sous, was promoted to replace departing chef Matt Kerley, who had run the kitchen at Blue Jacket since 2013. Since he's already launched a new menu, we decided it was time to check in with him about his work in the kitchen.
Published Nov. 21, 2014
Milwaukee Public Library looks into Milwaukee's historic public schoolhouses with a small exhibit and panel discussion at Central Library.
Published Nov. 20, 2014
Thanksgiving is on the horizon and you're hosting (or attending) a family dinner. What to do about wine? How to find something that pairs well with both turkey and cranberries? How to find a wine that appeals to you, your parents and Aunt Millie? It can be challenging, but experts say a few simple rules can help guide the way...
Published Nov. 18, 2014
One of the most recent building "booms" at Milwaukee Public Schools added a handful of new schools to the city's landscape, but at least one planned project -- and perhaps more -- never saw the light of day.
Published Nov. 14, 2014
Serious music fans will relate. Though a lot of music enters my ears, very few make the kind of impression that Lucy Wainwright Roche's 2013 record, "There's A Last Time For Everything," made on me. A year later I can tell you exactly where I was when I first popped it into the CD player and sat transfixed, unable to move. Lucy Wainwright Roche comes to Milwaukee next week, and we talked to her about it.
Published Nov. 12, 2014
Today, I got an email from my friends at Artists Working in Education (A.W.E.) about a project the group did this autumn with kids at MPS' South Side Anna F. Doerfler Community School in conjunction with Layton Boulevard West Neighbors (LBWN) and the COA CLC program. What's it all about? Read on.