South Florida James Beard Awards Semi-Finalists​ Media Lunch

img_5998Once in a while, I get to attend fun events such as this one representing The Whet Palette. This was an easy invite to accept. Yes, please.

In case you aren’t familiar with the James Beard Foundation, know their mission is “… to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone as long as they aren’t from Miami. ” Kidding! Well, maybe just a little. Miami dining just doesn’t appear on major awards as much as it should. We’ve- not only come a long way but- have been kicking some serious a** lately!

Familiar with all the South Florida nominated chefs and restaurants, I couldn’t wait to celebrate yesterday and wish them luck on this morning’s announcement of the finalists.

Location Stiltsville Fish Bar 

The Nominees: Best Chef- South and *Rising Star Chef of the Year

img_6048Chefs who have set new or consistent standards of excellence in their respective regions. Eligible candidates may be from any kind of dining establishment and must have been working as a chef for at least five years with the three most recent years spent in the region.

Brad Kilgore, Alter
Niven Patel, Ghee Indian Kitchen
Lindsay Autry, The Regional Kitchen & Public House
Clay Conley, Buccan
*Janine Booth, Stiltsville Fish Bar

The Food

The Finalists

This morning, at a ceremony in Philadelphia, the JBF unveiled the 2018 James Beard Award nominees in their Restaurant and Chef, Media, and Restaurant Design categories. Here’s the full list. The winners will be announced during a gala that will take place on Monday, May 7, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

img_6037Join me in congratulating our very own Chef Brad Kilgore for making it to the finals!


Vishwesh Bhatt
Oxford, MS

Nina Compton
Compère Lapin
New Orleans

Jose Enrique
Jose Enrique
San Juan, PR

Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus
New Orleans

Brad Kilgore

Slade Rushing
New Orleans