Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Montana restaurants, chefs are among the semifinalists for James Beard Awards

Executive Chef Andy Blanton and Chef de Cuisine Steen Turner in the kitchen at Café Kandahar
Stella Fong
Yellowstone Public Radio/File photo
Executive Chef Andy Blanton and Chef de Cuisine Steen Turner put the finishing touches to dishes at Café Kandahar. Blanton is a James Beard Awards semifinalist for Best Chef (Mountain).

The James Beard Foundation on Wednesday announced today its 2023 Restaurant and Chef Awards Semifinalists, and Montana eateries and chefs were well represented on list.

Semifinalists from here under the Big Sky included:

Outstanding Restaurateur

Albert McDonald, The Mint, Pizza Campania, and Backcountry Burger Bar, Bozeman

Best New Restaurant

The Backporch, Roundup

Outstanding Bakery

Grist Milling & Bakery, Missoula

Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker

Veronika Baukema, Veronika’s Pastry Shop, Billings, MT

Best Chef Mountain

Michael Annandono, Michaelangelo’s Big Sky, Big Sky

Andy Blanton, Café Kandahar, Whitefish

Chris Lockhart and Danny Mowatt, PREROGATIvE Kitchen, Red Lodge

Paul Naugle, Izakaya Three Fish, Bozeman

Earl James Reynolds, Stone Hill Kitchen + Bar, Bigfork

The James Beard Awards, considered to be among the nation’s most prestigious honors, recognize exceptional talent in the culinary and food media industries, as well as a demonstrated commitment to racial and gender equality, community, sustainability, and a culture where all can thrive.

Nominees will be announced on Wednesday, March 29, and winners will be celebrated at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards Ceremony on Monday, June 5, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. See a complete list of 2023 Restaurant and Chef Awards Semifinalists here.

Stella Fong shares her personal love of food and wine through her cooking classes and wine seminars as well as through her contributions to Yellowstone Valley Woman, and Last Best News and The Last Best Plates blogs. Her first book, Historic Restaurants of Billings hit the shelves in November of 2015 with Billings Food available in the summer of 2016. After receiving her Certified Wine Professional certification from the Culinary Institute of America with the assistance of a Robert Parker Scholarship for continuing studies, she has taught the Wine Studies programs for Montana State University Billings Wine and Food Festival since 2008. She has instructed on the West Coast for cooking schools such as Sur La Table, Williams-Sonoma, Macy’s Cellars, and Gelsons, and in Billings, at the Billings Depot, Copper Colander, Wellness Center, the YMCA and the YWCA. Locally she has collaborated with Raghavan Iyer and Christy Rost in teaching classes.