On the James Beard short list

“Taste of Summer” mural by Ann Northrup on the side of Vetri. (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)

The James Beard Foundation went to Las Vegas to announce this year's finalists for James Beard Awards.

And Philly was a big loser.

Despite semifinalists in assorted categories (see here), only two will move on the finals of what is called the Oscars of the culinary world. Awards will be doled out May 7.

Philly didn't even place any nominees in the hometown-heavy Best Chef/Mid-Atlantic category; heck, even some guy from Hoboken, N.J., made it in. Michael Solomonov of Zahav won it last year.

Vetri, Marc Vetri's destination, is up for Outstanding Restaurant against New York's Balthazar and Blue Hill, San Francisco's Boulevard, and Birmingham, Ala.'s Highlands Bar and Grill.

Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery of Delaware was nominated for Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional: he was nominated last year.

And that's it.

Contacted for reaction moments ago, Vetri texted: "Feels great, very flattering." His restaurant was nominated last year, and he won best chef/Mid-Atlantic in 2005. 

Here's Craig LaBan's recent four-bell review of Vetri.

Also: A Taste of History, the TV show hosted by Walter Staib of City Tavern and produced by Jim Davey and his crew at Bucks County-based Multi Media Productions, was nominated for a TV award.

Wolfgang Puck, who has a resto in the Borgata in Atlantic City, will get a lifetime achievement honor. 

Jason Sheehan, now with Philadelphia Magazine, was nominated for a story he wrote for Gilt Taste.

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