Today the James Beard Foundation announced its 2018 finalists, and — finally — a Miami chef made the cut.
Brad Kilgore has been named a finalist in the Best Chef: South category, which includes toques from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Puerto Rico. Coincidentally, former Miami chef Nina Compton is also a finalist in this category for her New Orleans restaurant, Compère Lapin.
Prior to his being named a Beard finalist for 2018, Kilgore was a semifinalist in the Rising Star Chef category two years in a row. That distinction is presented to a chef aged 30 or younger "who displays an impressive talent and who is likely to make a significant impact on the industry in years to come."
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Last year, Kilgore, known for his work at the Wynwood restaurant Alter, discussed his nomination with New Times: "It's been a goal of mine for my whole career. My team and I at Alter just keep our heads down and keep cooking. If we make it to the finals, that's a victory in itself."
This is the first time since 2013 that a Miami-based chef advanced to the finals. That year, Hedy Goldsmith and Jeff McInnis were finalists, and South Beach's Juvia won a Beard for Outstanding Restaurant Design.
The Miami Herald's Carlos Frias was also named a finalist in the Local Impact: Journalism category.
Winners will be announced May 7 at the James Beard Foundation's annual awards gala at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.