North Carolina chefs among James Beard nominees

Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham Ala. is one of five finalists for the 2018 James Beard Foundation Award for the most outstanding restaurant in America

The finalists for the 2018 James Beard Awards were announced Wednesday morning during a live broadcast streamed from Philadelphia's own Parc Restaurant in Rittenhouse. Yin was among the semifinalists for the same award in 2017 as well. This is the seventh time she's made it to the finalist round.

Zahav is nominated for Outstanding Service, though this is far from the restaurant's first James Beard recognition. Yang has never been nominated in this category, and she is the only Minnesota chef nominated in a national Beard Foundation category.

Post-Dispatch restaurant critic Ian Froeb is a member of the James Beard Awards restaurant and chefs awards committee.

This year's results notwithstanding, St. Louis has enjoyed success at the James Beard Awards in recent years.

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In May, the foundation announced that Dong Phuong, the Vietnamese bakery in New Orleans East, would receive an America's Classics Award. Most recently Michael Solomonov was nominated as Outstanding Chef for his work at Zahav in 2017. The category is reserved for chefs aged 30 or younger. Vedge marked six years in business last Fall. Gerard Craft of Niche won "Best Chef: Midwest" in 2015, and Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Cafe took the same award past year.

Out of the 20 MA semifinalists announced in February, six advanced to the finals.

Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional: Finalist Miljenko "Mike" Grgich's claim to fame is making the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that beat the best French white Burgundies at the Judgment of Paris in 1976. Winners will be revealed on May 7; media winners will be announced April 27.

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