Friday, Feb. 19, 2010 | 12:44 p.m.
As the best winter athletes in the world gather in Vancouver for the Olympics, the best chefs and restaurants in the U.S. have been honored as semifinalists in the 2010 James Beard Foundation Awards.
The annual awards given by the New York-based foundation are some of the highest accolades in the national culinary scene, and this year Las Vegas is primed to take home some of Beard's best bread.
The 2010 semifinalists were announced yesterday and the list will be narrowed down to the final nominees March 22. The awards themselves will be announced May 3 in a ceremony that draws together a who's who of kitchen pros. At the 2009 awards, Las Vegas's own Paul Bartolotta took home the Best Chef in the Southwest region award for his Wynn Las Vegas restaurant Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare.
Here are this year's local semifinalists:
Outstanding Chef: Julian Serrano, Picasso at Bellagio
Rising Star Chef of the Year: Vanessa Garcia, Restaurant Charlie at the Palazzo
Best New Restaurant: Sage, Aria Resort & Casino
Outstanding Pastry Chef: Kamel Guechida, Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand
Outstanding Wine Service: Picasso at Bellagio
Outstanding Service: Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand
Outstanding Service: Nobhill Tavern at MGM Grand
Best Chef: Southwest: Saipin Chutima, Lotus of Siam
Best Chef: Southwest: Claude Le Tohic, Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand
Best Chef: Southwest: Rick Moonen, RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay
— Originally published on LasVegasWeekly.com