Asheville chefs among James Beard semifinalists

The annual James Beard Awards wouldn't be complete without a nomination for Frasca Food & Wine.

Since 1999, 24 Madison chefs or restaurants have been nominated for Midwest Beard Awards and two have won: Miller in 2012 and Odessa Piper from L'Etoile in 2001.

This year, the James Beard Foundation has nominated the Italian restaurant for the Outstanding Restaurant award; it shares the category with nineteen other establishments around the country. "The joy of having a wine program and doing what we do is sharing it with the guests that sit in our seats". My team and I at Alter just keep our heads down and keep cooking. She first cooked at the distinguished James Beard House - the iconic New York City event space for the James Beard Foundation - as an employee of Northern Spy Food 2009 or 2010, she says, after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America. Fox has been named a semifinalist in the category every year since 2008.

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Voters consist of a volunteer panel of more than 600 judges from across the country, including local critics, culinary educators, and past winners.

Semi-finalists are not considered James Beard Foundation Award nominees, a designation reserved for those who survive the next round of balloting.

Senia, at 75 N. King Street, was nominated in the Best New Restaurant category, while Vino, at 500 Ala Moana in Waterfront Plaza, was nominated in the Outstanding Wine Program category. "It's so different from the chef awards because it's so much of everything that everyone does there to make that restaurant what it is". Finalists will be announced March 15. The award includes professionals in the industry for at least 10 years, who have not received a chef award nomination from the foundation for five years and are known for setting "high national standards in restaurant operations and entrepreneurship".