Every year the James Beard Foundation recognizes outstanding restaurants and chefs with the James Beard Awards. Time magazine called them “the Oscars of the food world.”'

According to the JBF website,

The James Beard Foundation’s mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America's food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone.

James Beard hosted the first ever food-centric TV show in 1946 on NBC and later established his own cooking school.

This week, the semifinalists for the 2019 Restaurant and Chef Awards were announced, and Maine is well represented on the list.

 

Here are the Maine nominees:

Outstanding Baker


Alison Pray, Standard Baking Co., Portland, ME

 

Outstanding Restaurant


Fore Street, Portland, ME

 

Outstanding Service


Back Bay Grill, Portland, ME

 

Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Producer


Rob Tod, Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, ME

 

Best Chef: Northeast


Chad Conley and Greg Mitchell, Palace Diner, Biddeford, ME

Krista Kern Desjarlais, The Purple House, North Yarmouth, ME

Vien Dobui, Cong Tu Bot, Portland, ME

Erin French, The Lost Kitchen, Freedom, ME

Keiko Suzuki Steinberger, Suzuki's Sushi Bar, Rockland, ME

 

The winners will be announced on May 6th during the awards ceremony. Winners will receive "[b]ragging rights, a handsome medal, an impressive certificate, a lot of publicity, and the satisfaction of having been recognized by your peers."

Did your favorite restaurant and chef make the cut?