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Three Women Up for James Beard's Outstanding Midwest Chef Award

Ann Kim, Jamie Malone and Christine Nguyen

It almost sounds like a step backwards to go from a semi-finalist to a nominee, but in the James Beard Awards world that distinction means you’re one step away from being declared the winner in the prestigious annual pageantry. 

The list of Best Chef Midwest (which includes Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North and South Dakota and Wisconsin) was narrowed down to two Michaels (Michael Corvino, of Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room, Kansas City, Missouri, and Michael Gallina, Vicia, St. Louis ) and three women for Minneapolis: Ann Kim, Young Joni; Jamie Malone, Grand Café; and Christina Nguyen, Hai Hai, Minneapolis. All three were nominated in 2018 as well. 

Minnesota chefs dominated the semi-finalist list. Included for the honor were Thomas Boemer, In Bloom; Steven Brown, Tilia; Daniel del Prado, Martina; and  Karyn Tomlinson, Corner Table. None of the national semi-finalists from the Twin Cities made it through as nominees. 

The James Beard Awards Gala will take place on Monday, May 6, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Established in 1990, the James Beard Awards recognize culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields and further the Foundation’s mission to celebrate, nurture and honor chefs and other leaders making America's food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. Each award category has an individual committee made up of industry professionals who volunteer their time to oversee the policies, procedures, and selection of judges for their respective awards programs. All James Beard Award winners receive a certificate and a medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia.

Tickets to the May 6 Awards Gala in Chicago and April 26 Media Awards dinner in New York City are on sale now at jamesbeard.org/awards/tickets. General public tickets are $500; James Beard Foundation member tickets are $425; VIP dinner options available upon request to the box office at 914-231-6180 or boxoffice@jamesbeard.org. Individual tickets for the Media Awards are $350; table for 10, $3,500. Both ceremonies will be broadcast live via the James Beard Foundation’s Twitter @beardfoundation and at jamesbeard.org/awards.


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