The James Beard Foundation just released the finalists for this year's food and restaurant awards, and the list of locals has been whittled considerably since the semifinalists were announced back in February.
Then five Denver chefs made the list; now only chef Jennifer Jasinski, co-owner of Rioja, Bistro Vendome and Euclid Hall, remains; she's been named a finalist for Best Chef Southwest. Locals Max Mackissock of Squeaky Bean (who happens to be Jasinski's husband) and Alex Seidel of Fruition had also been semifinalists in that category. See also: - Jorel Pierce a semi-finalist for James Beard Rising Star; four more Denver chefs make the cut - Chef and Tell with Jennifer Jasinski of Rioja and Bistro Vendome - In the kitchen with Jennifer Jasinski
Frasca Food and Wine is also a finalist, in the Outstanding Wine Program category.
Other semifinalists who didn't make the cut to finalist include Jorel Pierce of Euclid Hall, in the Rising Star Chef category; Frank Bonanno of Bonanno Concepts (Mizuna, Luca D'Italia, Osteria Marco, Bones, et. al.), Outstanding Restaurateur' and Williams & Graham, Outstanding Bar Program.
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The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony May 6 in New York City; find the complete list of James Beard finalists here.