The Oscars of the food world have turned their eyes toward Miami.
Eight local chefs and restaurants have been named semifinalists for the 2018 James Beard Foundation Awards, which honor the best in fine dining, from chefs and bakers to restaurants, wine programs, and restaurateurs.
Brad Kilgore, chef/owner at Alter in Wynwood, Brava at the Adrienne Arsht Center, Niven Patel (Ghee Indian Kitchen in Downtown Dadeland and the Design District), Lindsay Autry (The Regional Kitchen & Public House in West Palm Beach), and Clay Conley (Buccan in Palm Beach) have been long-listed for Best Chef: South.
Janine Booth, chef and co-owner at Stiltsville Fish Bar in Miami Beach’s Sunset Harbour, has been nominated for Rising Star Chef of the Year. And Zak Stern, the Miami-born baker behind Wynwood’s Zak the Baker, has been nominated for Outstanding Baker for the second year in a row. Finalists will be announced March 14.
The Forge restaurant has been nominated for Outstanding Wine Program, and Coral Gables’ Palme d’Or has been nominated for Outstanding Service. It is the first-ever nomination for both longtime restaurants.
Kilgore has previously been nominated for Rising Star Chef and his first restaurant, Alter, for Best New Restaurant. Patel opened Ghee last year, across from the Dadeland Mall, to instant acclaim for combining his farm-fresh ingredients into fine Indian cuisine, all before opening a second location just months later in the Design District.
Booth’s star has been rising after opening several restaurants with chef-partner Jeff McInnis. They opened Root & Bone in New York, the late Sarsaparilla Club in Miami Beach (replaced by a second location of Root & Bone) and Stiltsville last fall.
Stern has become the artisanal baker of record in South Florida, selling his kosher breads and pastries out of his Wynwood bakery and expanding into all Whole Foods Markets in South Florida. He also opened a strict glatt kosher deli in Wynwood.
Autry, a disciple of Miami celebrity chef Michelle Bernstein, turned her love of Southern cuisine and Mediterranean roots into a mainstay restaurant in West Palm Beach. She is across the Intracoastal from Conley, another Bernstein student, who has been nominated a fourth time at his restaurant Buccan.
James Beard Award nominees
The James Beard Foundation, which honors the best of the best in the food world, named these South Floridians to its list of semifinalists on Feb. 15. Finalists will be announced March 14.
Best Chef: South
Brad Kilgore, Alter, 223 NW 23rd St., Miami
Niven Patel, Ghee Indian Kitchen, 8965 SW 72nd Pl., Kendall and 3620 NE Second Ave., Design District
Lindsay Autry, The Regional Kitchen & Public House, 651 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach
Clay Conley, Buccan, 350 S. County Rd., Palm Beach
Rising Star Chef of the Year
Janine Booth, Stiltsville Fish Bar, 1787 Purdy Ave., Miami Beach
Zak Stern, Zak the Baker, 405 NW 26th St., Miami
Outstanding Wine Program
The Forge, 432 W 41st St., Miami Beach
Palme d’Or, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables