The nominees are ...

Three Minneapolis chefs are in the running for the 2008 Best Chef: Midwest medallion at the 2008 James Beard Awards. Tim McKee of La Belle Vie (510 Groveland Av., and Alex Roberts of Restaurant Alma (528 University Av. SE.,, both 2007 nominees, are joined by first-timer Isaac Becker of 112 Eatery (112 N. 3rd St., www.112 Rounding out the category are Adam Siegel of Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro in Milwaukee and Colby Garrelts of Bluestem in Kansas City, Mo. The awards' other Minnesota nominee is the Splendid Table, the radio program hosted by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and produced for American Public Media in St. Paul by Sally Swift and Jennifer Russell. Winners will be announced on June 6 in New York City.

Dinner under the stars

OK, so it's five months away, but think about booking your reservation at Outstanding in the Field, a farmer-chef collaborative meal that celebrates locally raised foods. The Minnesota event -- one of 35 set from coast to coast -- is scheduled for Aug. 15 at Dave and Florence Minar's Cedar Summit Farm in New Prague, with Lenny Russo of Heartland (1816 St. Clair Av., St. Paul, www.heart and Scott Pampuch of Corner Table (4257 Nicollet Av. S., Minneapolis, cooking in the al fresco kitchen. Cost for the five-course meal (with wine pairings) is $180 per person, go to Oh, and look for the organization's upcoming cookbook. "Outstanding in the Field: A Farm to Table Cookbook," written by founder Jim Deneven and published by Clarkson Potter, is scheduled to hit bookstores in early June.

Going green

The boxes are green, and now so are the contents; yes, just in time for Earth Day, Frango mints are going organic. The candy, synonymous with Marshall Field's for nearly a century and now produced by Macy's, will soon be available in milk chocolate and dark chocolate versions ($15 and $30) that are made with no less than 95 percent certified organic ingredients.