By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Feb 17, 2016 at 10:01 AM

Just moments ago, the James Beard Foundation announced the semi-finalists for its 2016 awards. And Milwaukee has three nominees among its ranks.

Milwaukee chefs who made the list for Best Chef Midwest include Chef Justin Carlisle of Ardent, Thomas Hauck of c.1880 and Dave Swanson of Braise.

Madison candidates include Dan Fox of Heritage Tavern, Jonathan Hunter of Forequarter and Francesco Mangano of Osteria Papavero. Tory Miller of L’Etoile in Madison was also nominated as a semi-finalist for the Outstanding Chef category.

The complete list of semifinalists can be found online.

The semifinals process began in October with an open call, during which anyone could nominate up to two individuals online. The JBF Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee, composed of critics, writers and editors, culled the semi-finalists from over 20,000 entries.

Semi-finalists will now move on to a voting body comprised of former Beard Award winners, Restaurant and Chef Award Committee members, and other regional panelists who will choose five finalists in each category.

Save the date

Finalists in more than 50 categories – including Restaurant and Chef, Restaurant Design, Book, Broadcast and Journalism – will be announced during a live press conference at the Presidio Officers’ Club in San Francisco on Tuesday, March 15.

On Tuesday, April 26, James Beard Award winner, chef and television personality Ming Tsai will host the annual James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards. This "Golden Globe-like" celebration will take place at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City.

The James Beard Awards ceremony and gala reception will follow on Monday, May 2, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. This year’s event will be hosted by Carla Hall, co-host of ABC’s "The Chew" and restaurateur of the soon to open Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen in Brooklyn, New York.

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.