Four Southwest area chefs named James Beard award semifinalists

Jamie Malone of Grand Cafe. submitted photo.
Jamie Malone of Grand Cafe. submitted photo.

Four chefs working in Southwest Minneapolis have been named semifinalists for one of the culinary world’s most prestigious awards.

The James Beard Foundation awards announced its 2019 semifinalists Feb. 27, and the list was littered with chefs and restaurants from Minneapolis. Four local eateries have semifinalists up for Best Chef Midwest, including two on the same corner in Linden Hills.

The local semifinalists for the James Beard Award Best Chef Midwest are:

  • Steven Brown of Tilia at 43rd & Upton. Brown has been named a semifinalist multiple times since opening Tilia in 2011; he reached the “nominee” stage of the award in 2017 and 2018.
Steven Brown of Tilia. File photo.
Steven Brown of Tilia. File photo.
  • Daniel del Prado of Martina, also at 43rd & Upton. Kitty-corner from Tilia, Del Prado’s Argentine seafood restaurant Martina earned him his first nod as a semifinalist.
Daniel del Prado, of Martina. File photo.
Daniel del Prado, of Martina. File photo.
  • Jamie Malone of Grand Cafe at 38th & Grand in Kingfield. Malone has owned Grand Café since 2017. She was previously named a semifinalist in 2014 and 2018 and was a semifinalist for Rising Star Chef of the Year in 2013.
Jamie Malone of Grand Cafe. submitted photo.
Jamie Malone of Grand Cafe. Submitted photo.
  • Karyn Tomlinson of Corner Table at 46th & Nicollet in Kingfield. Tomlinson took over as chef de cuisine at Corner Table in 2017 and has been named a semifinalist for the first time. (Southwest Journal food critic Carla Waldemar predicted she would win a James Beard award in 2017, so you heard it here first.)
Karyn Tomlinson of Corner Table. file photo.
Karyn Tomlinson of Corner Table. File photo.

Two other Minneapolis chefs are finalists for the award are Ann Kim of Young Joni and Christina Nguyen of Hai Hai; both restaurants are in Northeast.

Best Chef Midwest is one of 10 regional awards the James Beard Foundation gives out each year. The Midwest region includes Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Minneapolis restaurants and chefs were also named semifinalists in a number of categories. They include: Popol Vuh in Northeast, up for Best New Restaurant; Diane Moua, of Spoon and Stable in the North Loop, for Outstanding Pastry Chef; Restaurant Alma in Marcy-Holmes for Outstanding Restaurant; Brenda Langton and Timothy Kane of Spoonriver are up for the Outstanding Restaurateur award; and The Bachelor Farmer in the North Loop for Outstanding Wine Program.

This is just the beginning for the James Beard awards, which will be presented at a gala in Chicago on May 6. The semifinalist ballots are sent out to more than 500 voters and the top five vote recipients advance to the nominee stage in late March. The ballot goes out again and the winner of the second round of voting wins the Beard medallion.

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