Kevin Nashan | St. Louis Public Radio

Kevin Nashan

Carmen Troesser | Sauce Magazine

Two St. Louis chefs are finalists in the James Beard Foundation Awards in the category of Best Chef: Midwest.

Greg Rannells

The James Beard Foundation today announced the semifinalists for its prestigious awards that honor the best in the restaurant and bar industry. The St. Louis area is well represented. 

Leading this year’s pack locally is first-time semifinalist chef Mike Randolph, who is up for Best Chef: Midwest. Randolph’s restaurant, Público, in University City, is also up for Best New Restaurant. Randolph also owns Randolfi's in University City and Half and Half in Clayton.

Carmen Troesser, Sauce Magazine

Sometimes when you enter Pastaria in Clayton during prep hours you can hear singer Executive Chef Ashley Shelton, 28, belting out a tune or two. You may also receive a Kool-Aid refresher or piece of candy to “keep the flow going” and put a smile on the other cooks’ faces.