Each year the James Beard Foundation spotlights the best food and beverage professionals by bestowing the Beard Awards — considered one of the highest culinary honors in North America!
The semifinalists in the 2012 Restaurant and Chef categories have been announced, and we’re thrilled to see two Disney chefs on the list! In addition, several Orlando-area chefs were also named. The finalists will be announced on March 19, 2012, in Las Vegas. And we’ll be cheering on our faves when the winners are announced on May 7th in New York City!
Best Chef – South, Semi-Finalists
Scott Hunnel, Victoria & Albert’s Restaurant
Congratulations to award-winning chef, Scott Hunnel of Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa! Under Hunnel’s innovative leadership, Victoria and Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort has won many prestigious local, national, and international nods.
This exclusive restaurant has also won nine consecutive AAA Five Diamond Awards and twenty consecutive Mobil Travel Guide Four Star Awards.
James and Julie Petrakis, The Ravenous Pig
The Ravenous Pig is located in Winter Park, FL, very close to Orlando and Walt Disney World. Stop in for “an American gastropub experience” — casual dining with pub fare and upscale eats by culinary team James and Julie Petrakis.
Outstanding Chef Semi-Finalist
Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia in Chicago is also the consulting chef for Portobello Restaurant in Downtown Disney.
Stop by Portobello and try the meatball bar!
Lifetime Achievement Award
Wolfgang Puck will be honored on May 7, 2012, with the Beard Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony. Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck has been the recipient of many James Beard awards. In addition, he’s the only Chef to have won Outstanding Chef twice! Congrats to Chef Puck!
Source: James Beard Foundation