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Mar 22, 2018
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The Scoop: Chefs Kevin Nashan, Kevin Willmann earn finalist nods for JBFA Best Chef: Midwest

March 15th 12:03pm, 2016



{Chef Kevin Nashan}

Finalists for the 2016 James Beard Foundation Awards were announced today, March 15, and two St. Louis-area chefs are still in the running in the Best Chef: Midwest category. The James Beard Foundation recognized Kevin Nashan, chef-owner of Sidney Street Cafe and Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co., and Kevin Willmann, chef-owner of Farmhaus.

Willmann found out about his finalist nod when Sauce called for comment. “Are you serious? Oh my God. I’ve never been a finalist and am honored to share this with one of my best friends, Kevin Nashan. I hope one of us wins,” he said. “It’s awesome for our city. It’s cliche to say, but so many people have done collectively a good job to put our city on the map.”

Nashan said he was equally thrilled for Willmann as himself. “I’m floored. I’m super excited, and excited to see Kevin Willmann as a finalist as well,” Nashan said. “It’s humbling. I’m speechless and so grateful. There’s nothing to say.”





{Kevin Willmann} 

As The Scoop reported in February, the James Beard Foundation named four St. Louis-area chefs as semifinalists in the Best Chef: Midwest category. Semifinalists Elaia and Olio chef-owner Ben Poremba and Público chef-owner Mike Randolph did not make it to the final round. Cleveland-Heath co-owner and chef Ed Heath was also a semifinalist for Best Chef: Great Lakes, but did not make it to the finalist round.

Among national awards, The Side Project Cellar was a semifinalist for Outstanding Bar Program, Stone Soup Cottage was a semifinalist in the Outstanding Service category, and Público earned semifinalist status in the Best New Restaurant category. None advanced to the final round.

Winners of the chef and restaurant awards will be announced at a ceremony in Chicago on May 2. A full list of nominees is available here.

Nashan and Willmann joined Sauce editor Catherine Klene to discuss their JBFA nominations on St. Louis Public Radio. Listen in to a special Sound Bites segment here.


-Nashan photo by Greg Rannells; Willmann photo by Carmen Troesser

By Kristin Schultz

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