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James Beard Foundation announces 2012 semifinalists

February 21, 2012 | 12:50 pm

021012_SILVER_MEDALLION3On March 19, the James Beard Foundation will announce the five final nominees for each of the 20 restaurant and chef award categories at the Palazzo in Las Vegas. Finalists are narrowed down by a panel of more than 550 judges from a group of semifinalists chosen from over 57,000 entries received this year.

Southern California semifinalists for this year's awards include M.B. Post and Picca, nominated for best new restaurant; Rivera, nominated for outstanding bar program; Suzanne Goin of Lucques and Nancy Silverton of Mozza, nominated for outstanding chef; and Dahlia Narvaez of Osteria Mozza, nominated for outstanding pastry chef.

Also in the running for Beard restaurant and chef awards are Patina, nominated for outstanding restaurant; Piero Selvaggio of Valentino Restaurant Group and Caroline Styne of Lucques, A.O.C. and Tavern, both nominated for outstanding restaurateur; Providence, nominated for outstanding service; and Patina, Hatfield's and Cut at Beverly Wilshire, all in the running for outstanding wine program.

Best chef nominations for the Pacific region include Josef Centeno of the Lazy Ox Canteen and Baco Mercat, Michael Cimarusti of Providence, David Feau of the Royce at the Langham Huntington, David LeFevre of M.B. Post, Matt Molina of Osteria Mozza, John Rivera Sedlar of Rivera, Paul Shoemaker of Savory and Hiroyuki Urasawa of Urasawa in Beverly Hills.

Nominees for this year's rising star chef of the year award include Angelenos Chad Colby of Mozza2Go, Joshua Drew of Farmshop, Casey Lane of the Tasting Kitchen and Micah Wexler of Mezze.

Finalists will be honored at the James Beard Foundation awards ceremony and gala reception on May 7 at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in New York City.

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Photo: James Beard Foundation

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