New Orleans Chefs, Restaurants Recognized As 2018 James Beard Award Semifinalists

Chef Michael Gulotta of Maypop is a semifinalist as Best Chef: South in the James Beard Awards.

NEW ORLEANS – The world's most prestigious culinary awards have officially begun.

Today, the list of restaurant and chef award semifinalists were announced on the James Beard Foundation's official Twitter

Several New Orleans chefs, mixologists and restaurants were selected for culinary excellence, including Best New Restaurant for Saffron on Magazine Street and seven Best Chef: South nominees, including Mike Gulotta of Maypop and Nina Compton of Compère Lapin.

The semifinalists were chosen by a committee of industry professionals from over 23,000 online entries. The semifinalists will be narrowed down to a final list of nominees on March 14 and the The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala will be presented at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on May 7.

Below are the New Orleans area chefs and restaurants recognized as semifinalists this year:

Best New Restaurant


Outstanding Bar Program 


Outstanding Chef 

Donald Link, Herbsaint

Outstanding Pastry Chef 

Kelly Fields, Willa Jean

Outstanding Restaurateur

JoAnn Clevenger, Upperline

Outstanding Service 


Outstanding Wine Program 


Best Chef: South

Nina Compton, Compère Lapin

Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus, Coquette

Michael Gulotta, Maypop

Slade Rushing, Brennan’s

Hieu Than, Kin

Isaac Toups, Toups’ Meatery

Martha Wiggins, Sylvain

​For a full list of semifinalists, click here.

-By Jenny Peterson, Associate News Editor, Biz New Orleans

Categories: Food, Hospitality, Today’s Business News