Three South Florida nominees among James Beard Foundation semifinalists

Jose Mendin is a semi-finalist for a James Beard Foundation Award in the Best Chef South category. (Hector Torees/Courtesy)

If you thought Miami was the culinary center of Florida, the list of semifinalists in the 2014 James Beard Foundation Awards will set you straight.

Announced today in Orlando, just three South Florida chefs and one bar are among the nominees.

In the Best Chef South category, Jose Mendin of Pubbelly in Miami Beach and Horacio Rivadero of The District Miami were nominated. The Broken Shaker in Miami Beach is among the Outstanding Bar Program nominees. Michael Schwartz, who oversees four Miami-Dade restaurants, was nominated for the Outstanding Chef award presented by All-Clad Metalcrafters. Mendin was a semifinalist in 2012.

Statewide, however, Bern's Steak House in Tampa was nominated for Outstanding Restaurant. Joey Redner of Cigar City Brewing in Tampa gets a nod for Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Professional.


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The Best Chef South category includes seven other chefs from across the state: Greg Baker, The Refinery, Tampa; Chad Johnson, SideBern’s, Tampa; James and Julie Patrakis, The Ravenous Pig, Winter Park; Steve Phelps, Indigenous, Sarasota; Hari Pulapaka, Cress, DeLand; and Henry Salgado, Spanish River Grill, New Smyrna Beach.

One of the Outstanding Restaurateur nominees, Stephen Starr, has South Florida locations: Steak 954 in Fort Lauderdale; Makoto in Bal Harbour; and Verde, inside Pérez Art Museum Miami.

The semi-finalist list will be narrowed down to finalists on March 18. Winners will be announced May 2 in New York City. The entire list can be seen on the Beard Web site.