Chefs Zach Bell and Dean Max Among South Florida James Beard Nods

Categories: Food News
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James Beard Award semi-finalist, Zach Bell.
Nominees for this years' James Beard Awards were announced yesterday, and South Florida has a few representatives in the list.

Zach Bell of Cafe Boulud and Dean James Max of 3030 Ocean were both nominated in the Best Chef: South category. In recent years, Bell has really come into his own at the southern branch of Daniel Boulud's empire, earning James Beard Award nominations in 2008 and 2009. We had great things to say when we last reviewed Cafe Boulud, and in 2009 we called it the Best Restaurant in Palm Beach County. Perhaps his third one will be a charm.

Best Chef: South nominee, Dean James Max.
Dean James Max of 3030 Ocean has also earned nods in the past for Best Chef: South. His 3030 Ocean at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort is a bastion for local-caught seafood, with an inventive menu full of homages to the Sunshine State that changes daily. Last year, New Times called Max the Best Chef in South Florida.

Other local nominees include a few nods from down south in Dade. Myles Chefetz of Myles Restaurant Group in Miami Beach was nominated for Best Restaurateur. The company runs popular restaurants Prime One Twelve, Big Pink, and Nemo. Sam Gorenstein of BLT Steak has been tapped for Rising Star Chef of the Year, and Solea at the W Hotel in South Beach is among the names in the Best New Restaurant category.

For Best Pastry Chef, Hedy Goldsmith of Michael's Genuine Food and Drink was tapped. And also in the Best Chef: South category were Michael Schwartz of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, Philippe Ruiz of Palme d'Or at the Biltmore, Jose Martinez of Maison Blanche in Longboat Key, and Kris Wessel of Red Light Little River, also in Miami.

Although South Florida came up blank in both the Outstanding Chef and Best Restaurant categories, the showing elsewhere was fairly strong this year. Kudos to all the chefs and restaurants nominated. Now let's bring home some awards!

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