Richmond chef, bakers and beer pioneer named James Beard semi-finalists

New Orleans gets 14 nods on James Beard semifinalists list

New Orleans gets 14 nods on James Beard semifinalists list

Teresa's Next Door in Wayne is a semifinalist in the bar-program category.

Also for the second year, cocktail lounge Standby (225 Gratiot, Detroit) gets a semifinalist nod for Outstanding Bar Program. A Michelin-starred chef, Lents has been a James Beard Award finalist in the past and came back to his native MI after working in Chicago.

Mike Lata, The Ordinary, Charleston, nominated for Outstanding Chef. Working with him are sous chef Bryan Russo, center, and Derek Graue, at the hearth. Ashley Christensen of Poole's Diner in Raleigh is up for the national award Outstanding Chef and David Bauer of Farm & Sparrow in Asheville is on the list for Outstanding Baker.

Previous year was Philadelphia's moment in the spotlight at the James Beard Foundation awards, as Stephen Starr, Michael Solomonov, and Greg Vernick won top prizes. Candidates must have been in the restaurant business for at least 10 years. For the record: That's best new restaurant in the nation - putting Michael and Tara Gallina's eatery in extremely rarified company.

-- Highlands Bar and Grill's Frank Stitt, for best chef in the Southeast in 2001.

On March 14, the foundation's finalists will be announced at a live-streamed press conference in Philadelphia.

Bacchanal, the wine shop that morphed into a wine bar, wine garden and unique oenophile oasis in the Bywater, is nominated alongside more traditional restaurants around the country. The group's Rising Star Chef of the Year award went to Zach Engel, who at the time was chef de cuisine at Shaya, a restaurant that had also won the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant just a year earlier. The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala is May 7 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Every year, the foundation honors locally owned restaurants with its America's Classics awards. This is Tony's first appearance as a James Beard Awards semifinalist.