CHICAGO On March 23, the James Beard Foundation will hold an invitation-only breakfast at Frontera Grill, where reps from the culinary organization will announce the final nominees for its annual awards. The event will mark the first time the announcements have taken place outside of New York City. The awards, however, will return to Manhattan's Avery Fisher Hall on May 4, this year celebrating women in food.
Last Friday, the foundation announced the restaurant and chef semifinalists for its 2009 awards. Making the list were local restaurants such as Spiaggia (for Outstanding Service) and Avenues at the Peninsula, which received a nod in the Wine Service category.
Among the Chicago-based chefs to receive a nomination were Blackbird's Paul Kahan, currently in the running for the Outstanding Chef award, and Mindy Segal from Mindy's Hot Chocolate, a contender for Outstanding Pastry Chef. (A complete list of nominees is available here.)