Chef Justin Carlisle of Ardent in Milwaukee advances toward Beard Award

Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham Ala. is one of five finalists for the 2018 James Beard Foundation Award for the most outstanding restaurant in America

In the regional chef competition for Best Chef: South, Nina Compton of Compère Lapin (and the soon to open Bywater American Bistro) is nominated, along with Slade Rushing of Brennan's and Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus of Coquette.

The James Beard Foundation has announced its finalists for the 2018 James Beard Awards-one of the most coveted recognitions for chefs, restaurateurs, and other industry professionals. Yin was among the semifinalists for the same award in 2017 as well.

This year's nominees for "Best Chef: Midwest" include three chefs from Minneapolis (Steven Brown of Tilia, Gavin Kaysen of Spoon and Stable and Ann Kim of Young Joni) and two from Milwaukee (Karen Bell of Bavette La Boucherie and Justin Carlisle of Milwaukee).

Upperline restaurant proprietor JoAnn Clevenger was nominated for outstanding restaurateur by the James Beard Awards.

In an announcement on March 14 at Parc by Stephen Starr in Philadelphia, local talent nabbed spots on the Best Chefs Southwest list and received nods for restaurant design.

Just two local chefs-Brown and Jorge Guzman at Surly Brewer's Table-made the final cut previous year. Both were finalists for this award past year.

Outstanding Restaurant Design: Corey Lee's In Situ, the signature restaurant at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, has been nominated in the "75 seats and over" category. Take a look at the full list of finalists here.

Tova du Plessis, who owns Essen Bakery on East Passyunk Avenue, for baker; Talula's Table, Aimee Olexy's Kennett Square market/chef's table, for restaurant; Jesse Ito of Queen Village's Royal Izakaya for rising star chef; Teresa's Next Door in Wayne in the bar-program category; Pat O'Malley of the Hungry Pigeon in pastry; and Chef Vola's in Atlantic City for service. Finalists were announced Wednesday.

The awards will be presented on May 7 in Chicago.

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