James Beard Award Semifinalists to be Announced in Orlando


The James Beard Foundation recently announced that it will reveal the 2014 James Beard Foundation Awards Semifinalists at a live press conference at East End Market on February 19, 2014. Coordinated in collaboration with Visit Orlando, this first-ever event and breakfast will take place at 10 a.m. and will reveal each of the twenty semifinalists in each restaurant and chef award category.

On the evening before the press conference, a ticketed dinner will be held at The Alfond Inn at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., and will feature an all-star assembly of Orlando’s past James Beard Foundation Award semifinalists, including: Kathleen Blake (The Rusty Spoon), Scott Hunnel (Victoria & Albert’s), Brandon McGlamery (Luma on Park and Prato), James and Julie Petrakis (The Ravenous Pig and Cask & Larder), Kevin Fonzo (K Restaurant), Henry Salgado (Txokos Basque Kitchen and Spanish River Grill) and Hari Pulapaka (Cress Restaurant).

This culinary dream team will join forces to create one spectacular feast while JBF Award Winner Norman Van Aken serves as Master of Ceremonies.

Proceeds from the dinner will support the James Beard Foundation and tickets, which are $200, can be purchased here. A special after-dinner party with chefs will take place from 10 – 11 p.m. in The Alfond Inn Boardroom. Cost is $75 per person.

In 2013, Orlando led Florida as the city with the most JBF award semifinalists; during the same year, Zagat also published its first Orlando City Guide.

The JBF Restaurant & Chef Awards, the culinary industry’s most prestigious recognition program, begin with a selection process sourced from thousands of online entries, a process that’s overseen by a committee of industry professionals. Nominees comprise represent a wide variety of culinary talent, from exceptional chefs and dining destinations in 10 regions across the U.S., to the nation’s top wine and spirits professionals, best new restaurants, and rising star chefs. The James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception will take place at Lincoln Center in New York City on Monday, May 5.