CLEVELAND -- Five local chefs and restaurants have been announced as semi-finalists for the prestigious James Beard Foundation awards.
The awards are considered the top for excellence in the culinary industry. Finalists will be announced in mid-March.
From Northeast Ohio:
Michael Symon: Nominated for Outstanding Chef, Lola (Symon is the 2009 winner of the award for Best Chef in the Great Lakes Region)
Zack Bruell: Nominated for Best Chef in the Great Lakes Region, Cowell & Hubbard
Jonathon Sawyer: Nominated for Best Chef in the Great Lakes Region, Greenhouse Tavern
Matt Danko: Nominated for Best Pastry Chef, Greenhouse Tavern
Chez Francois Restaurant: The Vermillion restaurant is nominated for Outstanding Service.
All the nominees from Northeast Ohio, with the exception of Chez Francois, are located in Downtown Cleveland.
"We're honored to be a part of Cleveland and everything going on here downtown," said Jonathon Sawyer, who received his sixth nomination.
Cowell & Hubbard General Manager Sean McNeil spoke for Zack Bruell on the nomination. Bruell, who is out of town, is honored with a fifth nomination.
"Zack's pretty humble about it. He tries to put the spotlight on the people behind the scenes," said McNeil.
The announcement coincides with Downtown Restaurant Week, 2013, which runs Feb. 22 through March 3.
More than 40 local restaurants are offering three course, $30 menus for one or two diners, or $15 lunch options.
For information on the participating restaurants, check out the link below:
There's an exciting new twist this year too, called Pierogi Power!
The Downtown Cleveland Alliance asked the participating chefs to put their own spin on the Polish treat. The special pierogis will be included with many of the menu offerings.