Winners of the 2017 James Beard Media Awards, honoring the nation's top cookbook authors, culinary broadcast producers and hosts, and food journalists, will be announced on April 25.
This is the fifth time that Silvana Salcido Esparza has made the list for the Best Chef: Southwest award, which recognizes "chefs who have set new or consistent standards of excellence in their respective regions".
Restaurants in this category must have been in operation 10 or more years.
Pastry chef Megan Garrelts has been nominated for her work at the Midwest-meets-Southern-inflected Ryein Leawood. This is Smedstad's first Beard nomination.
Also, one Milwaukee restaurant is one of the semifinalists for the Outstanding Restaurateurs award. Another familiar Arizona name is Sam Fox, who has been nominated for "Outstanding Restaurateur".
Three chefs from Indiana are in the Best Chef category in the Great Lakes Region, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
To see the complete list of James Beard Award semifinalists for 2017, visit the James Beard Foundation website.
On Wednesday, March 15, the Foundation will announce the final nominees for all award categories during a press conference at a.o.c. restaurant in Los Angeles, California.
Irish Channel sandwich star Turkey & The Wolf is the only New Orleans restaurant named a semifinalist for the foundation's coveted Best New Restaurant award, a big feat for the casual newcomer led by Mason Hereford and Lauren Holton, whose whimsical sandwich creations have garnered widespread accolades from critics (including this one). Nominations will also be announced live via the Foundation's Facebook Live video feed and in real time on Twitter. Winners will honored in a ceremony at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on May 1.