It's that time of year again, when the James Beard Foundation beckons the public fooderati to cast their nominations for the 2012 James Beard Awards, the "country's most coveted honor for chefs; food and beverage professionals; broadcast media, journalists, and authors working on food; and restaurant architects and designers."
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While no Colorado chefs, pastry chefs, restaurants, restaurateurs, sommeliers -- or anyone else, for that matter -- won a James Beard Award in 2011, there were several local semi-finalists, including ChoLon, which was nominated for Best New Restaurant, Frank Bonanno, who was up for Outstanding Restaurateur of the Year and Bertrand Bouquin (Summit at the Broadmoor); Ryan Hardy (ex-Montagna at the Little Nell); Alex Seidel (Fruition); Mark Fisher (Six89); Jennifer Jasinski (Rioja); and Kelly Liken (Restaurant Kelly Liken), all of whom were nominated in the Best Chef in the Southwest category.
You have until December 31 to cast your vote for next year's winners, and since we really want to see our own culinary talent strut across center stage on May 7, the day the Foundation announces the winners at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, we're highly suggesting that you clickety-click to the James Beard Awards website and nominate your heart out.