It's James Beard Foundation Awards season again, and the semi-finalists for the Restaurants and Chefs category were announced this week.
It's the Oscars of the food world, so as many film buffs tend to hold marathons to watch the films nominated for Best Picture, I'm going to attempt to eat at all the Florida-nominated restaurants for Best Chef - South before the awards ceremony and gala on May 9 in New York, which I'm not invited to, but will be someday...someday.
I would love to eat at all of the JBF-nominated restaurants before the ceremony, but there's over 100 of them across the country, so I don't think that's possible. Since I'm a Floridian, I'll stick to my relative backyard.
And the nominees are:
1. Zach Bell, Café Boulud, Palm Beach, FL
2. Scott Hunnel, Victoria & Albert’s, Lake Buena Vista, FL
3. Philip Krajeck, Fish Out of Water at WaterColor Inn & Resort, Santa
Rosa Beach, FL
4. Dean James Max, 3030 Ocean at Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa,
Fort Lauderdale, FL
5. James and Julie Petrakis, The Ravenous Pig, Winter Park, FL (congrats, guys!)
6. Hari Pulapaka, Cress, DeLand, FL
7. Philippe Ruiz, Palme d’Or at the Biltmore, Coral Gables, FL
We're going to start this weekend with Cress, since DeLand is right over the bridge over Lake Jessup outside of Orlando. I'll blog about each one as we eat through the nominees. The finalists are going to be released soon, so if any of these drop off the list, I'll drop them off mine.
Stay tuned for all the fun!