The 2018 James Beard Foundation Award semifinalists have been named, and several St. Louis and Kansas City spots made the cut.
Vicia, the celebrated vegetable-forward restaurant from Michael and Tara Gallina in St. Louis, is nominated for Best New Restaurant. Colby and Megan Garrelts' Bluestem in Kansas City is nominated for Outstanding Restaurant. Longtime St. Louis staple Tony's is nominated for Outstanding Service.
In St. Louis, Best Chef: Midwest nominees include Lona Luo of Lona's Lil Eats in the Fox Park neighborhood, Ben Grupe of Elaia in Botanical Heights and Ashley Shelton of Sardella in Clayton (a 2017 Rising Star semifinalist), all of whom are nominated for the first time. Mike Randolph, who opened the tasting menu-only Privado in the former Randolfi's space last year, is also nominated for the award (he also owns Público and Half & Half).
In Kansas City, Michael Corvino of the newly opened Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room (and formerly of The American) is also nominated for Best Chef: Midwest. Last year, St. Louis chef Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Cafe and Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co. took home the award, so he – along with 2015 winner Gerard Craft – is not eligible to be nominated again.
Once again, Manifesto, the Kansas City cocktail bar helmed by Ryan Maybee, is nominated for Outstanding Bar Program, along with an Outstanding Baker nod for Taylor Petrehn of 1900 Barker in Lawrence, Kansas and an Outstanding Pastry Chef nomination for Megan Garrelts of Rye in Leawood, Kansas.
Finalists will be announced on March 14, and winners will be announced at the annual gala in Chicago on May 7. View the full list of semifinalists here.