Sugarcane, Sam Gorenstein, Philippe Ruiz 2011 James Beard Semifinalists

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The 2011 James Beard Awards semi-finalists were announced this morning and Sugarcane Raw Bar & Grill is the only Miami restaurant to make the long list in the Best New Restaurant category.

Also representing Miami is Sam Gorenstein of BLT Steak, who is nominated once again in the Rising Star Chef of The Year category. Philippe Ruiz of Palme D'Or, Dean James Max of 3030 Ocean in Fort Lauderdale and Zach Bell of Café Bouloud in Palm Beach made the long list for Best Chef South. All three chefs were semi-finalists last year.

The Biltmore Hotel and its cellar club director, Yvonne Roberts, also made the long list for Outstanding Wine Service, as did Myles Chefetz of Big Pink, Prime Italian, Prime One Twelve, Shoji Sushi, and Nemo in the Outstanding Restauranteur category.

Others in Florida include: Elite Coastal Dining in Pensacola and The Refinery in Tampa for Best New Restaurant; and James and Julie Petrakis of The Ravenous Pig in Orlando and Harry Pulapaka of Cress in Deland for Best New Chef South.

The short list will be announced on March 21 and the winners will be announced at a gala in New York on May 9. Stay tuned ...

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