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Paul Kahan, Dave Beran, Spiaggia, Topolobampo, More Nominated for 2012 JBF Awards

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The 2012 James Beard Foundation Awards nominations were revealed this afternoon in Las Vegas and Chicago was well represented, in both the chef/restaurant and journalism categories. Paul Kahan (Blackbird) was nominated for the second year in a row in the Outstanding Chef category and Next was nominated in the Best Restaurant category. Both Spiaggia and Topolobampo secured nods for Outstanding Service.

Next's Dave Beran was recognized in the Rising Star Chef category and Mindy Segal (Hot Chocolate) was once again nominated for Outstanding Pastry Chef, an award she was never won, but hopefully this will be her year.

Four Chicago chefs were nominated in the Best Chef: Great Lakes category: Bruce Sherman (North Pond), Michael Carlson (Schwa), Stephanie Izard (Gir & The Goat) and Andrew Zimmerman (Sepia). A new category, Outstanding Bar Program, was added this year and The Aviary and The Violet Hour both were nominated. While Lettuce Entertain You's Rich Melman took home the award last year for Outstanding Restaurateur, Chicago was overlooked in that category this time around.

Grant Achatz will be inducted as a JBF "Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America" and, as previously reported, Charlie Trotter will be honored as the Foundation's humanitarian of the year.

A number of local journalists were also recognized and nominated today, including ABC 7's Hungry Hound Steve Dolinsky (TV segment), former Sun-Times food editor Janet Rausa Fuller (Health & Well Being), Sky Full of Bacon's Michael Gebert (Television or Video Webcast Special/Documentary), Chicago Tribune's Kevin Pang (Food-related column) and WBEZ for two radio shows: Fear of Frying: Culinary Nightmares and From Bread Lines to Revolution.

The awards will be presented at a ceremony in New York on May 4 for the journalism awards and May 7 at New York's Avery Fisher Hall for the chef and restaurant awards. Congratulations to all of the nominees.
· James Beard Foundation Awards nominees [~E~]
· Rich Melman Gets Chicago's Sole James Beard Award [~EChi~]
· Beard Honors Charlie Trotter as Humanitarian of the Year [~EChi~]

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