Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Four Orlando restaurants, chefs named as semifinalists in James Beard awards

Posted By on Wed, Feb 27, 2019 at 2:36 PM

Four Orlando chefs and restaurants were named as semifinalists in the James Beard Foundation Awards for 2019.

The James Beard Foundation honors America's best chefs, restaurants and cuisines. The awards this year consist of everything from best new restaurant to the best chef in 10 different regions.

In the category of "Outstanding Pastry Chef," Rabii Saber, from the Four Seasons Resort Orlando, was named. Born in Morocco, but trained in Hawaii, this executive pastry chef also competed with the American team in the "Pastry Olympics" in 2017. His team placed fourth.

Norman's in the Orlando Ritz-Carlton was named in the "Outstanding Restaurant" category. They are already a James Beard "Who's Who in America" award-winning restaurant.

Julie and James Petrakis, known for owning The Ravenous Pig in Winter Park, Cask & Larder in the Orlando International Airport and The Polite Pig in Disney Springs, were nominated in the "Outstanding Restaurateur" category. The owners were previous semifinalists in the James Beard Awards for "Best Chef in America" six years in a row.

The final nomination is for Victoria & Albert's, located in Disney's Grand Floridian Resort. They were nominated for outstanding service. The executive chef, Scott Hunnel, was nominated eight years in a row for "Best Chef in the South" by the James Beard Foundation. 

The final nominees will be announced on March 27 at 10 a.m. with the final gala being hosted on May 6 in Chicago.

For a complete list of the 2019 semifinalists visit

So many restaurants, so little time. Find out the latest dining news every Friday morning with our weekly Food + Drink newsletter.

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