RI Restaurants and Chefs Named to 2013 James Beard Foundation Awards Semifinalists List

by David Dadekian
Cook & Brown Public House Bar Manager Jennifer Ferreira

Cook & Brown Public House Bar Manager Jennifer Ferreira

The 2013  James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists were announced today and a number of Rhode Island chefs and restaurants are included on this year’s list. The semifinalists in our area are:

Outstanding Bar Program: Cook & Brown Public House

Outstanding Service: Persimmon

Best Chef: Northeast:

The Semifinalists will be narrowed down to a list of finalists on March 18 and then winners will be announced at the Awards Gala in New York City on May 6 at what is essentially the Oscars® ceremony of the food world. For the complete list of semifinalists you can view the Foundation’s PDF document here.

Eat Drink RI has emailed with all the semifinalists and has their thoughts below. Congratulations to all the Rhode Island semifinalists!

Matt Jennings, Chef/Co-Owner at Farmstead Inc. (Best Chef: Northeast): “This is awesome. We are, as usual, beside ourselves. It is such a statement on how how hard our team works—from the stewards and the managers, to the servers, cooks & ‘mongers—this is truly a group effort, as everyone in this industry knows. [I] wake up everyday inspired by each of them, and Kate and I are thankful to have such an amazing crew.”

Jennifer Ferreira, Bar Manager at Cook & Brown Public House (Outstanding Bar Program): “It has been such a joy to be apart of the the evolution of this bar program and to be nominated once again is such an honor. I am so thankful for all the people who have made this bar program what it is and all who continue to support us through this awesome journey.”

Nemo Bolin, Chef/Owner at Cook & Brown Public House (Outstanding Bar Program): “I think it’s [expleted deleted] awesome. The entire staff kills it night in and night out. We’re especially proud to get the recognition since we operate the [bar] program within the confines of a full service restaurant. It’s not an easy task for the bartenders and they do an incredible job.”

Lisa & Champe Speidel, Owners and Chef at Persimmon (Outstanding Service and Best Chef: Northeast): “It’s truly an honor to be mentioned in such great company. We are thrilled and so grateful to our entire team—front and back—for their dedication, passion and hard work. We love being part of Rhode Island’s amazing food community and send big congrats to everyone at Farmstead and Cook & Brown.”

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