Dan Fox, Jonny Hunter and L’Etoile nab nods for James Beard awards

Restaurant and chefs named in prestigious list.
Dan Fox, Jonny Hunter and L’Etoile nab nods for James Beard awards

Two top local Madison chefs and one restaurant received honors in the culinary world as James Beard Foundation semifinalists. Both Dan Fox and Jonny Hunter are in the running for Best Chef: Midwest and L’Etoile is up for Outstanding Restaurant.

L’Etoile, a consistent top restaurant in Best of Madison, is nominated this year for outstanding restaurant. Tory Miller, a James Beard winner of Best Chef: Midwest in 2012 and a nominee for Outstanding Chef in 2016, heads L’Etoile, as well as Graze, Sujeo and Estrellon in Madison. sdf

For the third consecutive year, Dan Fox of Heritage Tavern has been nominated for Best Chef: Midwest. Fox, our Chef of the Year in 2013, is an authority on all things pork as owner of Fox Heritage Farms, which raises heritage breeds of pigs for local restaurants.

Jonny Hunter is no stranger to the James Beard awards. This year he receives his third nomination in a row for Best Chef: Midwest. Hunter, our Chef of the Year in 2015, has never received formal culinary training, but that doesn’t stop him from being a leading voice in the Madison food scene with the Underground Food Collective, which includes the restaurant Forequarter.

Apart from these two top Madison chefs, Karen Bell of Bavette La Boucherie in Milwaukee, Justin Carlisle of Ardent in Milwaukee, Thomas Hauck of c.1880 in Milwaukee, Luke Zahm of Driftless Cafe in Viroqua and Lisa Carlson of Chef Shack in Bay City were also nominated for Best Chef: Midwest. Out of 20 chefs nominated in the category, seven were from Wisconsin.

Paul and Joe Bartolotta were also nominated in the Outstanding Restaurateur category for the Bartolotta Restaurants in Milwaukee.

The final restaurant and chef award nominees will be announced March 15. And winners will be revealed at the 2017 James Beard Awards Gala held at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on May 1.