Four Twin Cities chefs – along with several broadcasters and cookbook authors -- have been nominated for 2018 James Beard Foundation awards.

The prestigious honors, the so-called “Oscars of the food world,” recognize and celebrate excellence across categories in cookbooks, journalism, design and restaurants.

Diane Yang of Spoon and Stable was nominated in the Outstanding Pastry Chef category. She’s a first-time nominee in this category, and the only Minnesota chef nominated in a national category.

Three Minneapolis chefs were nominated in the Best Chef: Midwest category:

Steven Brown of Tilia,

Gavin Kaysen of Spoon and Stable, and 

Ann Kim of Young Joni.

The category is one of 10 regional chef awards. The Beard’s Midwest region includes Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. The award goes to chefs in any kind of dining establishment “who have set new or consistent standards of excellence in their respective regions.” Brown was a 2017 nominee; Kaysen and Kim are first-time nominees in this category. Milwaukee chefs captured the rest of the category: Karen Bell of Bavette and Justin Carlisle of Ardent.

Two locals were nominated in broadcast media categories. “The Splendid Table,” produced in St. Paul by American Public Media, was nominated in Radio Show/Audio Webcast for its episode “Every Bite is Precious, Buddhist Cooking in Japan.” “Andrew in the Kitchen,” hosted by Andrew Zimmern, was nominated in Video Webcast, Fixed Location and/or Instructional.  


The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen,” by authors Sean Sherman and (Taste contributor) Beth Dooley, and published by the University of Minnesota Press, was nominated in the American cookbook category. And Minneapolis-based Voyageur Press has a nominee in the Beverage cookbook category, “Mezcal: The History, Craft & Cocktails of the World’s Ultimate Artisanal Spirit,” by Emma Janzen.

Winners in broadcast and cookbook categories will be announced on April 27 in New York City. Winners in restaurant categories will be announced on May 7 at the foundation's annual gala at Chicago’s Civic Opera House.

For a complete list of nominees, go here, and congratulations to all the nominees.