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A top Madison chef and restaurant received honors in the culinary world Thursday as semifinalists in the 2018 James Beard Awards.
For the fourth year in a row, Jonny Hunter, of Forequarter, was nominated for Best Chef: Midwest. Hunter, Madison Magazine's 2015 Chef of the Year, is also the co-founder of the Underground Food Collective, which includes Underground Catering, Underground Butcher and his restaurant Forequarter. Despite not receiving formal culinary training, since opening Forequarter, Hunter has made a name for himself in the Madison culinary scene and nationally.
L'Etoile is a semifinalist for the second time in a row for Outstanding Restaurant. L'Etoile is consistently ranked as one of the best restaurants in Madison. Its Chef Tory Miller is a recent winner of Iron Chef Showdown, where he beat Bobby Flay in competition.
Several other Wisconsin restaurants received nods from the James Beard Foundation. The Bartolotta Restaurants in Milwaukee are semifinalists for Outstanding Restauranteur. Joining Hunter in Best Chef: Midwest are Justin Carlisle of Ardent in Milwaukee; Thomas Hauck of c.1880 in Milwaukee; Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite of EsterEV in Milwaukee; Lisa Carlson of Chef Shack in Bay City; Jay Parks of Lovechild in La Crosse; and Stefano Viglietti of Trattoria Stefano of Sheboygan.
On March 7, the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour is featuring cuisine from Miller and Hunter and many of the other Wisconsin top chefs from the 2017 James Beard semifinalists at the Tre Rivali in the Third Ward of Milwaukee. For more information on the event, click here.
The only reason this happened is because of chef @naganoitaru and chef @scott_garthwaite their kitchen and the entire FOH team that comes in everyday and kills it. @letoilerestaurant there isn’t anyplace like you, always my first love, my home base, and my star. Thank you @beardfoundation for this incredible honor. #jamesbeard #awards #2018 #outstandingrestaurant