No St. Louis-area chefs, restaurants make it to James Beard finals


The finalists for the James Beard Foundation Awards were announced today, March 14, and for the first time in seven years, none of the St. Louis semifinalists advanced to the final round.


As The Scoop reported last month, the James Beard Foundation named four St. Louis-area chefs as semifinalists for Best Chef: Midwest: Elaia executive chef Ben Grupe, Sardella executive chef Ashley Shelton, Privado chef-owner Mike Randolph and Lona’s Lil’ Eats chef-owner Lona Luo.


Tony’s was on the long list for Outstanding Service, and Vicia was singled out as a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant.


Two St. Louis chefs have earned James Beard awards for Best Chef: Midwest: Sidney Street Cafe chef-owner Kevin Nashan in 2017 and Niche Food Group owner Gerard Craft in 2015 for his work at Niche.


Winners of the chef and restaurant awards will be announced at a gala in Chicago on May 7. A full list of the finalists can be found online. 


Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.