This year's James Beard Award winners will be announced in Chicago on May 2, and two metro-area restaurants could take home prizes. The James Beard Foundation announced the finalists this week, whittled down from dozens of restaurants, chefs, bakers and beverage specialists. There were seven Colorado nominees among the semi-finalists announced last month, and of those, two remain: for Outstanding Restaurant and Best Chef: Southwest.
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Boulder's Frasca Food & Wine is a finalist in the Outstanding Restaurant category, which also includes Alinea in Chicago; Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham, Alabama; and Momofuku Noodle Bar and the Spotted Pig in New York City. Frasca owners Bobby Stuckey and chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson have earned previous James Beard praise with a 2013 award for Outstanding Wine Program.
In Best Chef: Southwest, Alex Seidel made it to the finals for his work at Fruition. Seidel was a semi-finalist for this award in 2012, 2013 and 2014. All of his competition this year are Texas-based chefs.
Other Colorado semi-finalists who didn't make it to the final round: Frank Bonanno (Outstanding Restaurateur), Jennifer Jasinski (Outstanding Chef), Element 47 at the Little Nell in Aspen (Outstanding Wine Program), Dana Rodriguez of Work & Class (Best Chef: Southwest) and Steven Redzikowski of Acorn (Best Chef: Southwest).