By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Mar 15, 2017 at 12:07 PM

The James Beard Foundation announced the final nominees for its 2017 awards this morning from a.o.c. restaurant in Los Angeles, California.

For the third year running, Chef Justin Carlisle of Ardent and Red Light Ramen has made it to the next round for Best Chef Midwest.

Ardent, which opened in October 2013, has made an indelible mark on Milwaukee with its artfully prepared dishes, which simultaneously break new ground while paying homage to the simplicity and quality of Wisconsin ingredients.

Its sister restaurant, Red Light Ramen, has also played a role in the restaurant's success by offering up steaming bowls of ramen, unique snacks and creatively executed alcoholic slushies. In 2014, Ardent was a contender for "Best New Restaurant in the United States" during the James Beard semi-finals.

Other nominees for Best Chef Midwest include Steven Brown of Tilia in Minneapolis, Jorge Guzman of Brewer’s Table at Surly Brewing Co. in Minneapolis, Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Cafe in St. Louis and Kevin Willmann of Farmhaus in St. Louis.

The final James Beard Award winners will be announced at the annual gala on on Monday, May 1, at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.