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St. Louis-area nabs three national James Beard Award nominations, five regionally nominated chefs

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.

Other regionally nominated best chefs in St. Louis include previous semifinalists Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Café, Ben Poremba of Elaia and Kevin Willmann of Farmhaus. Eric Heath of Cleveland-Heath in Edwardsville is also a regional semifinalist.

The Side Project Cellar in Maplewood is nominated nationally for Outstanding Bar Program and the Stone Soup Cottage in Cottleville, Mo. is nominated for Outstanding Service.

Gerard Craft of Niche in Clayton won Best Chef: Midwest last year.

The finalists will be announced on March 15. The 2016 James Beard Awards Gala will be held in Chicago on May 2.

Alex is the executive producer of "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

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