Three Mpls restaurants and bakery nominated for James Beard awards

The James Beard Foundation announced today the final nominees for the 2010

James Beard Foundation Awards, taking place May 2 and 3 in New York City. The awards are considered to be among the top honors a restaurant or chef can receive in their field.

It’s rare for a Midwestern restaurant to be recognized in any of the general categories (outstanding chef, outstanding new restaurant, oustanding service, etc), but this years it happened: Michelle Gayer of Salty Tart Bakery in Minneapolis was nominated for Best Pastry Chef.

In addition, there are regional awards meant to offset the foundation’s bi-coastal leanings. And in the “Best Chef of the Midwest” category, Twin Cities restaurants took three of the five nominations.

Those nominated were Isaac Becker of 112 Eatery, Alexander Roberts of Restaurant Alma and Lenny Russo of Heartland. The other finalists were from St. Louis and Kansas City. “Midwest,” according to the James Beard Foundation, includes Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

The chefs aren’t the only nominees from Minnesota. Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl is nominated in multiple instances for her food and wine writing in Minnesota Monthly (fyi her book “Drink This” is nominated for a Minnesota Book Award, as well). Andrew Zimmern is up for his Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern on the Travel Channel. And Minnesota Public Radio’s own “The Splendid Table” is up once again for Best Audio Webcast or Radio Show.

Already set to receive the 2010 James Beard Humanitarian of the Year Award is local restaurant consultant Wayne Kostroski, founder of “Taste of the NFL” which raises money and awareness about the needs of the hungry and homeless.

Founder, Taste of the NFL

Happy eating, everyone!

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