Tampa, Florida -- Tampa Bay is quickly becoming a hot spot for "foodies." Restaurants in Tampa and Sarasota are among the semifinalists for a prestigious James Beard Award, often considered the "Oscars for food."
One of Tampa's most famous restaurants, Bern's Steakhouse in South Tampa, is one of 20 semifinalists in the award for Outstanding Restaurant. Bern's won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine Service in 1992.
Three Bay Area chefs are among the semifinalists for Best Chef in the South:
- Greg Baker--chef/owner of The Refinery in Tampa's Seminole Heights neighborhood. Baker has been nominated twice before and The Refinery was nominated as Best New Restaurant in the U.S. in 2011.
- Chad Johnson--executive chef at Side Bern's in South Tampa. Johnson was also nominated last year.
- Steve Phelps--chef/owner of Indigenous in Sarasota.
Additionally, Joey Redner of Cigar City Brewing in Tampa is a semifinalist for Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Professional.
The final restaurant and chef award nominations will be announced on March 19 and the awards will be handed out in May.
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