James Beard Foundation Taps Five Locals

Demi, a gem of a restaurant tucked back in the old warehouse district of Minneapolis—now the North Loop—is up for a James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant in the country.

The James Beard Foundation decided to go ahead and announce the nominees for its coveted 2020 awards as "a glimmer of hope to an industry looking for light in a very dark time."

The Twin Cities is fertile ground for winners, and this year’s list of hopefuls include:

Best New Restaurant: Demi, Gavin Kaysen’s newest restaurant, located in the North Loop;

Outstanding Pastry Chef: Diane Moua of Spoon and Stable (also of Demi) (read about her in our recent cover story)

There are three Twin Cities nominees out of five for Best Chef Midwest: Steven Brown, chef/owner of Tilia; Jamie Malone of Grand Café; and Christina Nguyen of Hai Hai. Malone was the 2018 Charlie Awards Outstanding Chef; Nguyen’s Hai Hai was Outstanding Restaurant in 2019; and Brown’s Tilia was Outstanding Restaurant in 2012. Moua was Outstanding Pastry Chef in 2013. The Charlie Awards is the local awards ceremony produced by Foodservice News.

Minneapolis’ Credo Nonfiction’s The Taste of Place episode is up for a media award in the Visual and Audio Technical Excellence category, and writer Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl of Mpls.-St. Paul magazine is nominated for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice award.

Now in its 30th year, the prestigious awards were announced May 4,the original date the ceremony was scheduled to be held live in Chicago.  The winners will be announced—hopefully in person—on September 25 in Chicago. The media awards are announced May 27.


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