James Beard Awards 2010 Announced for Chef & Restaurant SemiFinalists- Beard to Boston: Drop Dead!

Less than 24 hours ago, the James Beard Foundation announced its list of this year’s chef and restaurant semifinalists: http://www.jamesbeard.org

(I won a James Beard award in 2004 for my on air reporting on public radio and was one of five national finalists in the same category in 2003 and 2005.)

Let’s look closely at what happened to Boston this year.

Boston was snubbed by the James Beard Foundation–it is the single most important institution in the country judging the food scene and its awards have been called, “The Academy Awards of the Food World,” in several media outlets.

2010 James Beard Foundation Awards Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists

OUTSTANDING RESTAURATEUR (20 nominees nationwide.  Only one from Boston)

Roger Berkowitz, Legal Sea Foods, Boston.

OUTSTANDING CHEF (19 nominees nationwide, none from  Boston)

Ana Sortun, Oleana, Cambridge, MA, which is close to Boston.

OUTSTANDING RESTAURANT (20 nominees nationwide,  none from Boston)

Not a single Boston restaurant is nominated.

RISING STAR CHEF OF THE YEAR (26 nominees nationwide,  none from Boston)

Will Gilson, Garden at the Cellar, Cambridge, MA is also close to Boston.

BEST NEW RESTAURANT (31 nominees nationwide,  none from Boston)

Not a single Boston restaurant is nominated.

OUTSTANDING WINE SERVICE (20 nominees nationwide,  none from Boston)

Il Capriccio, Waltham, MA can be reached from Boston by car, taxi, or public transportation.

OUTSTANDING SERVICE  (20 nominees nationwide,  none from Boston)

You must be kidding.

BEST CHEF: NORTHEAST (20 nominees nationwide,  one from Boston)

Dante de Magistris, Il Casale, Belmont, MA, which is near Boston.

Krista Kern Desjarlais, Bresca, Portland, ME, which is two hours away.

Gabriel Frasca and Amanda Lydon, Straight Wharf Restaurant, Nantucket, MA, which is faraway.

Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier, Arrows Restaurant, Ogunquit, ME, which isn’t close either.

Steve Johnson, Rendezvous in Central Square, Cambridge, MA, which is just over the bridge.

Michael LaScola, American Seasons, Nantucket, MA, which is near Straight Wharf, but not Boston.

Michael Leviton, Lumière, West Newton, MA, which is down the Pike.

Tony Maws, Craigie on Main, Cambridge, MA, which is down the street from Rendezvous.

Marc Orfaly, Pigalle, Boston!

In the past year, the following restaurants, among others, opened their doors in Boston: Rowes Wharf Sea Grill, Bistro du Midi, Coppa, Ginger Park, Post 390, The Stork Club, and Teranga.  Apparently, the James Beard Foundation did not  think enough of these ventures to nominate them.

It’s like nominating restaurants from Berkeley, but ignoring SanFrancisco; restaurants from Brooklyn, but not Manhattan.

What happened?  Why did the James Beard Foundation diss Beantown?

2 thoughts on “James Beard Awards 2010 Announced for Chef & Restaurant SemiFinalists- Beard to Boston: Drop Dead!

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