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New Orleans restaurants and chefs shortlisted for James Beard awards 

Many local chefs and restaurants eligible for 2018 awards

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The James Beard Foundation (www.jamesbeard.org) released the list of semifinalists for the 2018 James Beard Awards, considered the Oscars of the culinary and hospitality worlds. The list of finalists will be released March 14. Winners will be announced May 7 at the annual James Beard Awards Gala in Chicago.

  New Orleans restaurants, bars and restaurateurs had a strong showing in the list, particularly in the Best Chef: South category. Here are local restaurants and individuals included on the short list.

  Best New Restaurant: Saffron NOLA

  Outstanding Service: Brigtsen's

  Outstanding Bar Program: Cure

  Outstanding Wine Program: Bacchanal Wine

  Outstanding Chef: Donald Link, Herbsaint, Cochon, Cochon Butcher and Peche

  Outstanding Pastry Chef: Kelly Fields, Willa Jean

  Outstanding Restauranteur: JoAnn Clevenger, Upperline

  Best Chef: South:

  Nina Compton, Compere Lapin

  Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus, Coquette

  Michael Gulotta, Maypop and MoPho

  Slade Rushing, Brennan's

  Hieu Than, Kin

  Isaac Toups, Toups' Meatery, Toups South

  Martha Wiggins, Sylvain (the LeBlanc + Smith restaurant group announced earlier this year that Wiggins will be departing the restaurant soon).

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