James Beard award nominations announced

Three Twin Cities chefs are in the running for the Best Chef: Midwest medallion at the 2014 James Beard awards.

The nominees were announced Tuesday, and they include Paul Berglund of the Bachelor Farmer (50 2nd Av. N., Mpls., www.thebachelorfarmer.com), Michelle Gayer of the Salty Tart (920 E. Lake St., Mpls., www.saltytart.com) and Lenny Russo of Heartland Restaurant & Farm Direct Market (289 E. 5th St., St. Paul, www.heartlandrestaurant.com).

It’s a first nomination for Berg­lund and the fourth for both Gayer (nominated twice in Outstanding Pastry Chef, and twice in Best Chef: Midwest) and Russo.

The Best Chef: Midwest award honors outstanding chefs in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota (the Beards divide the nation into 10 regions, including the Midwest). The category’s other nominees are Justin Aprahamian of Sanford in Milwaukee and two St. Louis chefs: Gerard Craft of Niche and Kevin Nashan of the Sidney Street Cafe.

Amy Thielen is up for two awards. Her Food Network show, “Heartland Table,” is nominated in the TV Program Studio/Fixed Location category, and her cookbook, “The New Midwestern Table,” is honored in the American Cooking category. Thielen resides near Park Rapids, Minn., and is a 2011 Beard winner for a series of stories published in Taste.

“The Splendid Table” — and its host, Lynne Rossetto Kasper, and producers Sally Swift and Jennifer Russell — is nominated in the Radio Show and Audio Broadcast category. The show, a 1998 and 2008 Beard winner, is produced by American Public Media in St. Paul.

Finally, Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine are part of the Video Webcast on Location category for their website, the Perennial Plate. The Minneapolis couple won the award last year.

Golden Valley native Cindy Pawlcyn, owner of Mustards Grill and Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen in St. Helena, Calif., was nominated in the Outstanding Restaurateur category.

The James Beard Foundation, which works to “celebrate, preserve, and nurture America’s culinary heritage and diversity,” started its awards program in 1990. Judges include past chef winners, along with industry professionals.

Winners in the journalism and cookbook categories will be announced at a dinner at Gotham Hall in New York City on May 2. Winners in the restaurant, chef and design categories will be announced at a gala event at the David H. Koch Theater in New York City’s Lincoln Center on May 5.

Swimming in lobster

Red Lobster (www.redlobster.com) is currently immersed in its regularly scheduled Lobsterfest promotion. But here’s a locally owned deal: On Saturdays from 6 to 10 p.m., the south-suburban location of Blue Point (4400 W. 78th St., Bloomington, www.bluepointrestaurantandbar.com) offers a 1¼-lb. Maine lobster, garlic mashed potatoes and sweet corn for $25.