James Beard Award finalists: Zahav, Ellen Yin, Landau, Cogswell

Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham Ala. is one of five finalists for the 2018 James Beard Foundation Award for the most outstanding restaurant in America

Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham Ala. is one of five finalists for the 2018 James Beard Foundation Award for the most outstanding restaurant in America

This is McHugh's third nomination for the award, considered the USA food industry's highest honor.

Alabama chefs David Bancroft of Acre in Auburn, Bill Briand of Fisher's Upstairs at Orange Beach Marina in Orange Beach and Timothy Hontzas of Johnny's Restaurant in Homewood were among the semifinalists for best chef in the South that were announced earlier this year, but none was among today's finalists.

Brad Kilgore, chef and co-owner of Alter, in Wynwood, has been named one of six finalists for the James Beard Foundation's award for Best Chef: South, the committee announced Wednesday.

Also in this year's Beard Award competition, Kelly Fields of Willa Jean is a finalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef. Yin was among the semifinalists for the same award in 2017 as well.

Yin first made her mark in the Philadelphia dining scene more than 20 years ago with the opening of Fork, a pivotal addition serving as the framework for much of Philadelphia's popular restaurants today.

Stephen Starr, who owns Parc, won past year as best restaurateur.

Ellen Yin, who helped transform Old City two decades ago with the bistro Fork and with partners grew an empire that includes a.kitchen, High Street on Market, and High Street on Hudson in New York City, was nominated for restaurateur of the year. The category is open to chefs in Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Florida and Puerto Rico. Landau co-owns the restaurant with wife Kate Jacoby. Ella Brennan, Martin's mother and Brennan's aunt, received the same honor in 1984 and received the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.

Media winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in New York City on April 27, and the restaurant winners will be announced in Chicago on May 7.

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