GREAT FALLS — The James Beard Foundation recently announced its 2023 Restaurant and Chef Awards Semifinalists - and there are several Montana restaurants, bakeries, and chefs on the list.
The James Beard Foundation is a non-profit whose mission is to "celebrate, support, and elevate the people behind America’s food culture and champion a standard of good food anchored in talent, equity, and sustainability."
Here are the categories and Montana nominees:
- The Backporch in Roundup - nominated for Best New Restaurant: A restaurant opened between January 1, 2022, through September 30, 2022, that already demonstrates excellence in cuisine, atmosphere, hospitality, and operations while contributing positively to its broader community, and seems likely to make a significant impact in years to come. Those establishments that have opened after September 30, 2022, can be considered for the 2024 awards.
- Grist Milling & Bakery in Missoula - nominated for Outstanding Bakery New in 2023: This category recognizes a baker of breads, pastries, or desserts that demonstrates consistent excellence in food, atmosphere, hospitality, and operations while contributing positively to its broader community.
- Veronika Baukema, Veronika's Pastry Shop in Billings - nominated for Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker: The former Outstanding Pastry Chef and Outstanding Baker categories have been combined into one, Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker. This category recognizes a pastry chef or baker who makes desserts, pastries, or breads. Candidate demonstrates exceptional skills and can be affiliated with any food business and does not need a brick-and-mortar presence. Candidate contributes positively to their broader community.
- Albert McDonald - The Mint, Pizza Campania, and Backcountry Burger Bar in Bozeman - nominated for Outstanding Restaurateur: A restaurateur who uses their establishment(s) as a vehicle for building community, demonstrates creativity in entrepreneurship and integrity in restaurant operations, and is making efforts to create a sustainable work culture, while contributing positively to their broader community.
In the category of Best Chef for the Mountain Region (CO, ID, MT, UT, WY), Montana racked up five nominations:
- Michael Annandono, Michaelangelo's Big Sky, Big Sky
- Andy Blanton, Cafe Kandahar, Whitefish
- Chris Lockhart and Danny Mowatt, PREROGATIvE Kitchen, Red Lodge
- Paul Naugle, Izakaya Three Fish, Bozeman
- Earl James Reynolds, Stone Hill Kitchen + Bar, Bigfork
Winners will be celebrated at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards Ceremony on Monday, June 5, 2023, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Click here to see the complete list of nominees.
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