James Beard Honors Autry as Semifinalist Again

Chef Lindsay Autry, photo by South Moon Photography

The good news is that in Palm Beach County, Executive Chef/Owner Lindsay Autry of The Regional Kitchen & Public House is nominated as a semifinalist for the James Beard Award again, as she has been for three years now. She deserves the top award, and we’re hoping this is her year. 

But in their rush to add more categories for geographic diversity in the James Beard Awards, it seems SoFla got the short shaft. The semifinalists were announced recently. Added to previous categories were Best Chef: California, Best Chef: Texas, Best Chef: Northwest and Pacific, Best Chef: Mountain, Best Chef: New York State (previously only NYC). 

I understand trying to acknowledge chefs in states normally overlooked by the awards, but there is such a thing as too many awards. Kind of like too many cooks in the kitchen!

The fact that our amazing restaurants didn’t rate for outstanding restaurant, best pastry chef, best rising star chef, best bar, etc., is disappointing. Not only is our local dining scene expanding, but it’s expanding in a high-quality way. Until James Beard judges realize this, our response should be that the best revenge is eaten (and eating!) at any of the wonderful tables in our area. 

Here’s a list of all who were nominated in SoFla. Congratulations to all! Finalists will be announced March 25; winners announced on May 4.

James Beard Awards 2020 semifinalist nominees:

Best Chef, South – includes Alabama, Arkansas, Puerto Rico, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi

  • Lindsay Autry, The Regional Kitchen & Public House, West Palm Beach, FL
  • Timon Balloo, Balloo Restaurant, Miami
  • Michael Beltran, Ariete, Coconut Grove, FL
  • Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer, Boia De, Miami
  • Niven Patel, Ghee, Miami

Outstanding Pastry Chef:

  • Antonio Bachour, Bachour, Coral Gables, FL

Outstanding Restaurant:

  • Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Miami

Rising Star Chef of Year:

  • Valerie Chang, ITAMAE, Miami