Other Arizona semifinalists this year included Sam Fox, a semifinalist for Outstanding Restaurateur, which recognizes "a working restaurateur who sets high national standards in restaurant operations and entrepreneurship".
Other nominees for Best Chef Midwest include Steven Brown of Tilia in Minneapolis, Jorge Guzman of Brewer's Table at Surly Brewing Co.in Minneapolis, Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Cafe in St. Louis and Kevin Willmann of Farmhaus in St. Louis.
The good news is, the city dominated its regional category, with three of the five nominations for Best Chef in the West. Providence's Michael Cimarusti, Gjelina's Travis Lett, and Trois Mec's Ludo Lefebvre are all nominated. Fox has been named a semifinalist in the category every year since 2008, but failed to make the short list this year.
At the nomination ceremony in Los Angeles, Legal Sea Foods president and CEO Roger Berkowitz also received a Who's Who award.
Fleer was named a semifinalist for Best Chefs in America by the James Beard Foundation in 2012.More news: It's just another game - Korkut plays down his Champions League coaching bow
In addition to chef and restaurant awards, James Beard media award nominees were named Wednesday and Minnesota writers and media personalities were among the bunch.
You can find a complete list of finalists here.
Chef/restaurateur Emeril Lagasse was nominated for "Outstanding Host/Personality" in the James Beard foundation's media awards for his 2016 Amazon web series "Eat the World with Emeril Lagasse". "A Chef's Life" won a Peabody Award in 2014 and a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Directing in a Lifestyle/Culinary/Travel Program in 2015.
Award semifinalists, announced in February, were chosen from a pool of 24,000 online entries by judges, committee members and previous winners.