Madison chef selected as semifinalist in James Beard Foundation awards

Pharr is one of three Wisconsin chefs up for the award
Clockwise from top: pierogies, garlic honey biscuit, escargots and cauliflower
Clockwise from top: pierogies, garlic honey biscuit, escargots and cauliflower (Photo by Nicole Peaslee)

Sean Pharr, the chef and owner of Mint Mark on Winnebago Street, was selected as a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation Award.

Sean Pharr standing in the woods

Photo by Larry Chua

Pharr was selected among 20 chefs for the Best Chef: Midwest award. For the James Beard Foundation, the Midwest is defined as Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Two other Wisconsin chefs up for Best Chef: Midwest include Dane Baldwin of The Diplomat in Milwaukee and Karen Bell of Bavette La Boucherie in Milwaukee. Paul Bartolotta of the Bartolotta Restaurants in Milwaukee was chosen as a semifinalist in the outstanding restaurateur category.

Pharr opened Mint Mark with Chad Vogel, Gwen and Kyle Johnson and Travis Knight in late 2018. The dinner menu focuses on small plates and frequently changes to include new items. The best way to find the latest menu is by checking the Mint Mark Instagram story or highlight labeled “Dinner.” Pharr previously has told Madison Magazine that Mint Mark is a “vegetable-forward eater enacting classic French technique with Italian intent.” This Pharr’s first time being selected as a contender for the award.

Final nominees for the awards will be announced March 25.

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