This morning, the James Beard Foundation announced the nominees for its prestigious annual awards, often called “the Oscars of the food world.” The announcement was made live from Orlando, Florida, a city the JBF calls out as having an “on the rise culinary profile.” Maybe one year they’ll come to Portland, hmm …
Maine is represented on the list by familiar names, plus a few newcomers. If you’re curious about the selection process, the JBF explains it HERE.
The list will be paired down to finalists, announced on March 18 from Chicago. The awards ceremonies are May 5 at Lincoln Center in New York City.
Without further ado, here are the nominees from Maine – names without notes have been nominated for the first time.
Fore Street, Portland
This is the sixth nomination in this category for Fore Street; the restaurant was a finalist in 2010. Chef/owner Sam Hayward was the first chef from Maine to win a James Beard Award: Best Chef, Northeast in 2004.
This is the first time Primo has been nominated for Outstanding Restaurant. Chef/owner Melissa Kelly won Best Chef: Northeast last year and in 1999 (when she was at a restaurant in New York state), becoming the first chef to ever win a JBF Award twice. She was a finalist for Outstanding Chef in 2011 and 2012.
Rob Tod — Allagash Brewing Company, Portland
I’ll also give a well-deserved shout out to nominee Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Brewing in Delaware, a summer resident of Southport Island (where the actual Dogfish Head is located.) Sam has been a finalist for the past three years.
Cara Stadler — Tao Yuan, Brunswick
Masa Miyake — Miyake, Pai Men Miyake, Miyake Diner, all in Portland
Ravin Nakjaronen — Long Grain, Camden
Ravin was a semifinalist in 2008, when he was chef at The Four Rivers in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.