Vernick, Franklin Mortgage on James Beard's 'big list'

Greg and Julie Vernick at their restaurant, 2031 Walnut St. MICHAEL S. WIRTZ / Staff Photographer

The "big list" of James Beard Award semifinalists - which will be winnowed by Beard voters to finalists on March 18 - has been released.

No Philly restaurant is up for the best-restaurant honor this year.

But Vernick Food + Drink - Greg and Julie Vernick's hot number at 2031 Walnut St. - is the lone Philly entry out of 29 semifinalists for best new restaurant


East Passyunk's Joe Cicala of Le Virtù and Christopher Kearse of Will BYOB are up for Rising Star Chef of the Year 

Seven of the 20 semifinalists for Best Chef/Mid-Atlantic are working in the Philly area: Joey Baldino of Zeppoli; Pierre Calmels of Bibou; Konstantinos Pitsillides of Kanella; Sylva Senat of Tashan; Brad Spence of Amis; Lee Styer of Fond; and Marcie Turney of Barbuzzo

Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. is up for best bar program

Marc Vetri is the lone Philly chef up for best chef

Andre Chin and Amanda Eap of Artisan Boulanger Patissier are up for best pastry chefs; they have to vacate their location at 12th and Morris Streets for a new spot in South Philly

Stephen Starr is up for best restaurateur

The Fountain at the Four Seasons and Vetri are up for service

Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Tom Peters of Monk’s Cafe are up for wine, beer and spirits professional

See the whole list (.PDF) here.