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Brothers Paul and Joe Bartolotta are also nominated in the Outstanding Restaurateur category.

Earlier today, the Beard Foundation released some welcome news – the names of the semifinalists for the 2017 James Beard Awards, which celebrates excellence in restaurants across the nation. For your Milwaukee ties, look no further than these local chefs (and restaurateurs):

*Justin Carlisle (of Ardent),  Thomas Hauck (c.1880) and Karen Bell (Bavette La Boucherie), all nominees for Best Chef: Midwest 

*Paul and Joe Bartolotta of The Bartolotta Restaurants, for Outstanding Restaurateur 

The Beard Foundation will announce the finalists on March 15. We’ll learn the winners the evening of May 1, at the awards gala held at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. 

Incidentally, the three nominated for Best Midwest Chef are all participating in Milwaukee Magazine’s The Chef Event on April 19 at Downtown Kitchen (777 E. Wisconsin Ave.). Have you bought your tickets to this first-ever MilMag feast, featuring the menu specialties of chefs from eight local restaurants? Click here to learn more!

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