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2019 James Beard Award Semifinalists Include Nick Bognar, Linda Duerr, Nathaniel Reid and More

The 2019 James Beard Foundation Award semifinalists have been named, and St. Louis and Kansas City showed up big.

In St. Louis, Best Chef: Midwest nominees include Michael Gallina of Vicia, Lona Luo of Lona's Lil Eats in the Fox Park neighborhood, Jesse Mendica of Olive + Oak in Webster Groves and Ny Vongsaly of Billie-Jean in Clayton. Kansas City nominees for Best Chef: Midwest include Michael Corvino from Corvino Supper Club and Tasting Room and Nick Goellner from The Antler Room in Kansas City, and Linda Duerr from The Restaurant at 1900 in Mission Woods, Kansas.

On the sweet side, Megan Garrelts of Rye in Leawood, Kansas is nominated for Outstanding Pastry Chef. Nathaniel Reid from his eponymous Kirkwood, Missouri, spot, Nathaniel Reid Bakery, and Taylor Petrehn of 1900 Barker in Lawrence, Kansas, are both up for Outstanding Baker.

The awards also recognize up-and-coming talent: Nominees for Rising Star Chef of the Year include Nick Bognar from Nippon Tei in Ballwin, Missouri (who helped transform his family's restaurant into one of St. Louis' best spots for sushi) and Calvin Davis of Freshwater in Kansas City (who reopened the critically acclaimed restaurant last year after a car drove through the front of the building). Colby Garrelts of Bluestem, who won Best Chef: Midwest in 2013, is nominated for Outstanding Chef.

The local bar industry also snagged some honors: The venerable Planter's House in St. Louis and newcomer The Monarch Cocktail Bar & Lounge in Kansas City are nominated for Outstanding Bar Program.

Finalists will be announced on March 27, and winners will be announced at the annual gala in Chicago on May 6. View the full list of semifinalists here.

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