Three Michigan Chefs Honored

2012 James Beard Foundation Semifinalists

Best Chef Division for the Great Lakes

Are you looking to step your meal up?  Michigan has three chefs being recognized by the James Beard Foundation on their list of best chefs.

Who is James Beard? He was an American chef and foodie writer who helped establish America’s food identity.  Chef  Beard had an eccentric personality who brought French cooking to the American middle and upper classes in the 1950s. He is also the writer of many books on cooking and beyond.

The Foundation was started in 1986 by Peter Kump, a former student of James Beard, to promote the culinary arts by honoring chefs, wine professionals, journalists, and cookbook authors at annual award ceremonies which is considered the “Oscars” of the food world.

Here are Michigan’s three 2012 Semifinalists

Grand Rapids MI, Grand Rapids Michigan, Grand Rapids MI Restaurants, Grand Rapids Michigan Restaurants, Grand Rapids MI dining, Grand Rapids Michigan dining Matthew Millar of Reserve Wine and Food in Grand Rapids

With over 100 wines available by the glass and well over 250 bottles of wine to choose from, Reserve gives you the opportunity to explore the world of wine one sip at a time. Pair your wine with options from their charcuterie bar, featuring meats and cheeses from around the world. Share a selection or two from their small plates menu that is locally driven and seasonally inspired. Whether you are casually dressed or formally adorned, all are welcome to enjoy an evening at Reserve for a wine experience accented by artistry.


Birmingham Michigan, Birmingham MI, Birmingham Michigan Restaurant, Birmingham MI Restaurant, Birmingham Michigan Dining, Birmingham MI dining Chef David Gilbert of Forest Grill in Birmingham

The Forest Grill’s menu showcases house made charcuterie, a raw bar, clay oven baked pizzas, and traditional bistro dishes.  They are inspired by French, Italian, and contemporary American cuisine with an emphasis on simplicity and flavor.  Also, extensive wine list includes a number of regional wines from boutique vintners, Michigan vineyards, and standard classics. Each server is well-versed on the Forest Grill menu and extensive list of wines and will happily share any information.


Southfield Michigan, Southfield MI, Southfield Michigan Restaurant, Southfield MI restaurant, Southfield Michigan dining, Southfield MI dining,  Chef Luciano Del Signore of Bacco Ristorante in Southfield

Bacco Ristorante has been providing superior Italian cuisine since 2002. The restaurant’s chic, contemporary ambience and imaginative dishes have elevated it to the top of both diners’ and reviewers’ preferred restaurant lists.  The highest quality ingredients are the basis for each of Bacco’s creations, and the cuisine’s simple yet stunning presentation ranks Bacco Ristorante among the most elite of Italian restaurants.  While at Bacco Ristorante an exceptional wine pairing enhances the overall dining experience. Boasting more than 400 vintage Italian bottles, they offer an extensive and unique wine list.

2012 James Beard Awards Semifinalist List



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About Steven O

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  • dcokerjr

    I don’t know the other two, yet. I can however, say Matt is a great chef and an asset to Michigan as a chef and proponent to using Michigan grown and raised products. Congrats Matt!