Hoosiers Among James Beard Award Semifinalists

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Image of Aaron Butts courtesy of The Golden. Image of Aaron Butts courtesy of The Golden.

This year's list of semi-finalists for Restaurant and Chef Awards from the New York-based James Beard Foundation includes four names from the Indiana dining scene. Semifinalists in 21 categories were selected from more than 24,000 online entries.

It is the 27th year for the awards and finalists will be announced March 15. Winners of the organization's media awards will be announced April 25th in New York City. All other winners will be named May 1 at the James Beard Foundation Awards Gala in Chicago.

Indianapolis-based Patachou Inc. founder Martha Hoover is a semifinalist for Outstanding Restaurateur. The award includes professionals in the industry for at least 10 years, who have not received a chef award nomination from the foundation for five years and are known for setting "high national standards in restaurant operations and entrepreneurship."

Three chefs from Indiana are in the Best Chef category in the Great Lakes Region, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. They are Jonathan Brooks of Milktooth in Indianapolis, Aaron Butts of The Golden in Fort Wayne and Abbi Merriss of Bluebeard in Indianapolis. Qualifiers must have spent the last five years as a chef, three of which working in the region for which they are nominated. The category calls for "chefs who have set new or consistent standards of excellence in their respective regions."

You can connect to the full list of semifinalists by clicking here.

Martha Hoover's Patachou Inc. was featured late last year during a Culture Matters segment on Inside INdiana Business Television.

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