By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Jan 25, 2023 at 9:55 AM

This morning, the James Beard Foundation announced the semifinalists for its 2023 awards. And Milwaukee has many reasons to be proud as the Foundation acknowledges many of the talented chefs and restaurants in whom we've taken pride for years.

Cream City talents

For the second year running,  Joe Muench, Dan Sidner, Amy Kerstein, and Jason Kerstein of Black Shoe Hospitality (Story Hill BKC and Buttermint) are among the semifinalists for Outstanding Restaurateur.

Lupi & Iris, Chef Adam Siegel’s debut restaurant which opened in May of 2022, made the long list of semi-finalists in the category of Best New Restaurant.

Meanwhile, among the 20 semifinalists for Best Chef Midwest are two contenders from Milwaukee: four-time semi-finalists Daniel Jacobs and Dan Van Rite of EsterEv and Gregory Leon of Amilinda, a second-time semi-finalist in 2023.

Be sure to show your support by paying them a visit. You'll find all of these restaurants (and more worthy spots) on my 52 Restaurants list for 2023!

Wisconsin honorees

Other Best Chef Midwest candidates from Wisconsin include Francesco Mangano of Osteria Papavero and Itaru Nagano and Andrew Kroeger of Fairchild, both in Madison, Wisconsin.

Among the candidates for Outstanding Restaurant is a Door County gem, Wickman House in Ellison Bay.

Meanwhile, Jamie Hoang of Ahan in Madison has made the long list, honored amont the semi-finalists for Emerging Chef, and Andrew Hutchison of Madison Sourdough is a contender for Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker. 

You can view the full list of semi-finalists from across the nation online.

More on the James Beard Foundation Awards

Established in 1990, with inaugural awards issued in 1991, the James Beard Awards the mission of the James Beard Awards is to “recognize exceptional talent and achievement in the culinary arts, hospitality, media, and broader food system, as well as demonstrate commitment to racial and gender equity, community, sustainability, and a culture where all can thrive. As the preeminent benchmark for culinary excellence, the Awards program is one of many that support the James Beard Foundation’s mission of Good Food For Good®.”

The James Beard nominees will be announced on Wednesday, March 29, and winners will be celebrated at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards Ceremony on Monday, June 5, 2023, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

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.