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South Florida Chefs Shut Out of the James Beard Award Nominations Yet Again

The one nomination South Florida received was for design

James Beard award medal
James Beard Foundation

This afternoon the James Beard Award finalists were announced during a live-streamed, virtual event, which parred down a long list of semifinalists released in late February. South Florida had nine semifinalist nominations this year, but the area’s chefs and eateries were essentially shut out of the finalist category — only receiving one nomination for design.

The one finalist nomination was for Ken Fulk, Inc for its design of Swan & Bar Bevy, the swanky bar and eateries in the Miami Design District by David Grutman and Pharrell Williams. It was nominated in the Outstanding Restaurant Design, 76 Seats and Over category. The last time a chef or restaurant was a finalist in the awards for their culinary achievements was in 2018 when Alter’s Brad Kilgore was nominated for Best Chef: South.

The original finalist announcement was slated on March 25 in Philadelphia, but due to the coronavirus pandemic it was postponed to today — which was supposed to be the original date of the annual James Beard Awards ceremony in Chicago. The chef and restaurant awards ceremony has been rescheduled to September 25 in Chicago. Details for the awards have not been released yet, but presumably it will be an in-person event.

South Florida had a record year with nine semifinalist nominees including Lindsay Autry, Timon Balloo, Michael Beltran, Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer, and Niven Patel for Best Chef: South, Antonio Bachour for Outstanding Pastry Chef, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink for Outstanding Restaurant, and Valerie Chang for Rising Chef of the Year.

Check out the full list of finalist nominees here.

Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Awards.

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