Local chefs, restaurants get 6 James Beard nods

Lisa Ludwinksi of Sister Pie, Katoi and Standby cocktail lounge join James Rigato, Andy Hollyday and Nick Janutol on the semifinalist list for the prestigious honor

Melody Baetens
  • Chef Hollyday gets his third consecutive semifinalist nod in the Best Chef: Great Lakes category
  • Lisa Ludwinski of Sister Pie named a semifinalist in the Outstanding Baker category
  • Detroit cocktail lounge Standby is an Outstanding Bar Program semifinalist
  • Katoi was the only Michigan restaurant listed as one of the 27 Best New Restaurant semifinalists

The names of semifinalists for the national James Beard Foundation Awards were released Wednesday, giving nods to more Detroit-area chefs and restaurants than in the last few years.

Corktown’s Katoi restaurant was the only Michigan restaurant listed as one of the 27 Best New Restaurant semifinalists.

Lisa Ludwinski of Sister Pie bakery in Detroit was named an Outstanding Baker semifinalist.

Detroit cocktail lounge Standby was called out as one of the 20 businesses nationally with an Outstanding Bar Program.

In the Best Chefs: Great Lakes category local semifinalists include Andy Hollyday of Selden Standard, Nick Janutol of Forest in Birmingham and James Rigato of Mabel Gray in Hazel Park. All three chefs were listed as semifinalists in some capacity in 2016. Hollyday was also a semifinalist in 2015.

These semifinalists were chosen from a pool of 24,000 online entries by judges, committee members and previous winners. On March 15, the semifinalists will be narrowed down to finalists. Winners of the James Beard Media Awards are announced April 25, and the rest of the final awards are revealed James Beard Foundation Awards Gala at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on May 1.

In 2016, chef James Rigato’s Mable Gray restaurant in was named as one of the 25 semifinalists in the Best New Restaurant category. The 40-seat Hazel Park spot was the only Michigan restaurant named in that category.

In the Best Chef: Great Lakes category last year Andy Hollyday of Selden Standard and Nick Janutol of Forest were also named semifinalist in 2016, but the category was swept by Chicago chefs.

Other semifinalist nods in 2016 went to Chef Garrett Lipar, formerly of Marais in Grosse Pointe and Torino in Ferndale. He was named a semifinalist in the Rising Star Chef of the Year category, which goes to chefs 30 or younger, in 2016 and 2015.

Founded in 1986, the foundation is named after a champion of American cuisine, the late James Beard. The awards were established in 1990 to recognize culinary professionals.


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Twitter: @melodybaetens