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Two St. Louis chefs encore as finalists for coveted James Beard award

Kevin Willmann of Farmhaus, left, and Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street, seen in these file photos, are James Beard Award finalists for the second year in row
Provided | Sauce Magazine
Kevin Willmann of Farmhaus, left, and Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street are James Beard Award finalists for the second year in row

For the second year in a row, two St. Louis chefs with the same first name are finalists for an award from the James Beard Foundation. Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Café, 2000 Sidney St., and Kevin Willmann of Farmhaus, 3257 Ivanhoe Ave., are each nominated in the category of “Best Chef: Midwest.”  

Last year, Minneapolis chef Paul Berglund took home the award but at the time, Nashan said he was “just grateful to be on the bus.”

Before this final round of the 2017 awards, three other St. Louisans were in the running. Mike Randolph of Público and Jesse Mendica of Olive + Oak were also semifinalists for “Best Chef: Midwest.”  Ashley Shelton of Gerard Craft’s Pastaria was a semifinalist for “Rising Star Chef of the Year.”

In 2015, local restaurateur Gerard Craft won the James Beard "Best Chef: Midwest" award. It was his seventh time as a finalist in that category. 

The 2017 James Beard Awards will be announced at May 1 gala at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

A number of 2017 winners whose names have already been announced also will pick up awards that night. They include America’s Classics Award winner Gioia's Deli, 1934 Macklind Ave., owned by Alex Donley. That award honors restaurants for their local character and longevity. Gioia’s was built in 1918, and first operated as a grocery store.

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