Earlier today the James Beard Foundation announced restaurant and chef semifinalists for the 2015 James Beard Foundation Awards. This year's long list includes just four chefs and restaurateurs from Arizona, down from six semifinalists last year. And we have to say, the nominees aren't all that surprising -- in fact, all four Arizona semifinalists were nominated last year and in the same categories as this go 'round.
Here are the 2015 James Beard Award Semifinalists from Arizona:
Pizzeria Bianco, Outstanding Restaurant Chef Chris Bianco
Sam Fox, Outstanding Restaurateur Fox Restaurant Concepts (The Arrogant Butcher, Culinary Dropout, Olive & Ivy, and others)
Charleen Badman, Best Chef Southwest FnB Restaurant
Kevin Binkley, Best Chef Southwest Binkley's Restaurant
The list of semifinalists comes together after the foundation's Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee (a group composed of critics, writers, and editors) makes selections from the names gathered during an online open call.
This semifinalist list will then be a narrowed down again to a much smaller number of finalists in March. The annual James Beard Foundation Awards, often referred to as the Oscars of the culinary world, will take place on Monday, May 4 at the Lyric Opera in Chicago.
For more information or to see the entire list of semifinalists check the James Beard Foundation website.