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Minnesota chefs, restaurants rack up 2020 James Beard Award nominations

Why yes, that is the wagyu striploin with butternut squash ravioli, nettle mustard, and roasted jus from Demi. Good eye!

Why yes, that is the wagyu striploin with butternut squash ravioli, nettle mustard, and roasted jus from Demi. Good eye! Libby Anderson

When it comes to recognizing stuff, it's hard to top awards. That's why we have the Oscars for movies, the Grammys for music, the Eclipse Awards for thoroughbred horse racing, and, of course, the James Beard Awards for food.

The James Beard Foundation released its 2020 semifinalist nominations on Wednesday, and lemme tell ya: quite a few locals! 

Demi, the buzzy $254-$620 per head 20-seater in Minneapolis' North Loop, is in the running for Best New Restaurant. South Minneapolis newbie Colita, our 2019 Best New Restaurant, appears in the Outstanding Bar Program category, and Marcy-Holmes' celebrated (and recently sued!Alma is contending for Outstanding Restaurant. North Loop's Spoon and Stable produced two national contenders: returning champ Gavin Kaysen (Outstanding Chef) and Diane Moua (Outstanding Pastry Chef). St. Paul is represented by Rikki Giambruno, the leader of pasta destinatio Hyacinth, who's up for Rising Star Chef of the Year. Regionally, we've got five chefs slugging it out in the Best Chef (Midwest) field.

You can view all the noms below (click here to see last year's Twin Cities winners). The final round nominations for the 30th annual James Beard Awards will be revealed March 25 in in Philadelphia; the award gala goes down May 4 in Chicago. 

  • Best New Restaurant: Demi
  • Outstanding Bar Program: Colita
  • Outstanding Restaurant: Restaurant Almas
  • Outstanding Chef: Gavin Kaysen, Spoon and Stable
  • Outstanding Pastry Chef: Diane Moua, Spoon and Stable
  • Rising Star Chef of the Year: Rikki Giambruno, Hyacinth
  • Best Chef (Midwest): Hai Truong, Ngon Vietnamese Bistro, St. Paul; Steven Brown, Tilia, Minneapolis; Daniel del Prado, Martina, Minneapolis; Jamie Malone, Grand Café, Minneapolis; Christina Nguyen, Hai Hai, Minneapolis