The James Beard Foundation released its list of semi-finalists for its 28th annual awards. The Foundation will announce the final nominees March 14 at Parc in Philadelphia, hosted by James Beard Award–winning restaurateur Stephen Starr. The event and announcement will take place at 8:30 a.m. Central and will be streamed live online and live-Tweeted via the James Beard Foundation Twitter feed.
The Twin Cities were well represented: for Best New Restaurant: Grand Café; Outstanding Baker: Michelle Gayer of The Salty Tart; Outstanding Chef: Alex Roberts of Restaurant Alma; Outstanding Pastry Chef: Diane Yang of Spoon and Stable; Outstanding Service: 112 Eatery; Best Chef Midwest: Thomas Boemer (Corner Table), Steven Brown (St Genevieve), Gavin Kaysen (Bellecour), Ann Kim (Young Joni), Jamie Malone (Grand Cafe), Christina Nguyen (Hai Hai), Lisa Carlson (Chef Shack Ranch). Good luck; you're already winners.
Joshua Walbolt, formerly with Bellecour, has a new project in the works. Starting mid-summer he will be the executive chef of a new Asian Eatery called Lat 14. He’s teamed up with Lemongrass Thai Cuisine to execute this new restaurant concept. “Until then I am doing recipe development and hosting pop-up dinners,” he told us.
Birthdays: Grumpy’s is almost old enough to serve itself liquor. The Northeast Minneapolis bar and grill turns 20 this year. Dangerous Man Brewery celebrated its 5th birthday with a release of its Imperial Milk Stout aged in bourbon barrels. And Brenda Langton's innovative restaurant career, from Commonplace Cooperative to Spoonriver, is turning 40.
Closings: Vic’s, known for its charming patio overlooking the cobblestone streets of Minneapolis’ picturesque St. Anthony Main waterfront, has closed its doors.
Minneapolis-based Bellisio Foods is shutting down its Austin, Minnesota, frozen-food manufacturing plant in April, to consolidate operations at its other two facilities in Jackson, Ohio, and Vernon, California. Bellisio produces more than 400 frozen food products. About 100 employees will be affected by the closing.