5 Local Chefs Are Semifinalists for James Beard Awards

The James Beard Foundation named the semifinalists for chef and restaurant awards, and we’re excited to see so many local names.

RELATED: Milwaukee’s Top Chefs Dish About the Local Restaurant Scene

It’s that time of year. The nominees for chef and restaurant excellence are out for the 2023 James Beard Foundation Awards. And we’ve got some local nominees.

  • First up, the Outstanding Restaurateur category: Amy and Jason Kerstein, Joe Muench, and Dan Snider, Black Shoe Hospitality (Story Hill BKC and Buttermint Finer Dining & Cocktails) Buttermint – whose other siblings are Maxie’s and Blue’s Egg – opened in late 2021
  • Best New Restaurant. Here, we have Lupi & Iris as a semifinalist. The restaurant, whose co-owner is James Beard Award winning chef Adam Siegel, opened in spring of 2022.
  • Best Chef: Midwest. Of the 20 nominees, we have two from Milwaukee: Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite of EsterEv (which shares space with the Dans other restaurant, Dandan), and Gregory León, Amilinda

The finalists will be announced on March 29. And the awards will be presented on Monday, June 5.


Michael DeMichele, left, and Adam Siegel; Photo by Marty Peters
Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite, DanDan, Fool’s Errand, Estereve; Photo by Tom Grimm
Joe Muench, Black Shoe Hospitality; Photo by Tom Grimm
Gregory León; Photo courtesy of Amilinda



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Ann Christenson has covered dining for Milwaukee Magazine since 1997. She was raised on a diet of casseroles that started with a pound of ground beef and a can of Campbell's soup. Feel free to share any casserole recipes with her.