Eleven Maine chefs and restaurants were named semifinalists for the prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards on Thursday, including five chefs who are being considered for best chef in the Northeast.
Two of the Best Chef: Northeast semifinalists have been previously nominated. Ravin Nakjaroen of Long Grain in Camden has been on the list three times before, and Keiko Suzuki of Suzuki’s Sushi Bar in Rockland was nominated for the third time this year. Newcomers on the list are Vien Dobui, chef/owner of Cong Tu Bot, a Vietnamese restaurant in Portland, and Erin French, the chef/owner of the Lost Kitchen in Freedom, which has received lots of national coverage in the past year. Krista Kern Desjarlais, who was a James Beard finalist in this same category in 2012 for her (now closed) Portland restaurant Bresca, was nominated for the Purple House in North Yarmouth, which she opened in December 2016. Keep reading