Food & Drink

Miami chefs land on James Beard Awards semifinals list

Alter in Wynwood is up for a James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant.
Alter in Wynwood is up for a James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant. GourmandJ

For the fifth consecutive year, Pubbelly chef-partner Jose Mendin is in the running for the James Beard Foundation’s award for Best Chef in the South.

The New York-based organization this week announced its 2016 chef and restaurant awards semifinalists. Miami’s culinary scene received more Beard nominations than it has in years.

“It is great to see Miami coming up in the culinary world,” Mendin said. “I am proud to be a part of the evolution.”

▪ Joining Mendin on the list of Best Chef: South nominees are Giorgio Rapicavoli, chef-partner of Eating House in Coral Gables (this is his third year as a Beard semifinalist); Deme Lomas, chef-partner of Niu Kitchen in Miami; and Michael Pirolo, chef-partner of Macchialina and Bazi, both in South Beach.

▪ Alter restaurant in Wynwood, the Miami Herald’s 2015 Restaurant of the Year, is up for a Beard award for Best New Restaurant in the country. Its chef and partner, Brad Kilgore, is a semifinalist for the foundation’s Rising Star Chef. Kilgore this week also was named one of the Herald’s 2016 Food 50 winners, honoring the region’s top culinary innovators.

▪ Antonio Bachour, executive pastry chef at the St. Regis Bal Harbour, earned a nomination for Outstanding Pastry Chef.

▪ Two out-of-town restaurant owners with businesses in Miami are up for Outstanding Restaurateur: Philadelphia-based Stephen Starr (Makoto, Steak 954, Continental, Le Zoo) and San Francisco-based Michael Mina (Michael Mina 74, Stripsteak, Bourbon Steak).

Finalists will be announced March 15, and winners will be revealed at a May 2 gala in Chicago.

Evan S. Benn is Miami Herald Food Editor: @EvanBenn

Miami Herald Food 50: Meet the winners.