Head chef Scott Muns (left) and chef-owner Aaron Silverman (right) in the kitchen at Pineapple and Pearls, a James Beard nominee for best new restaurant.
Also among this year's local nominees, the beloved proprietor of Upperline Restaurant, JoAnn Clevenger, is nominated for a fourth time as well, for Outstanding Restaurateur.
Known as the Oscars of the food world, James Beard Awards recognize talent in restaurants, bars and in the food-writing industry.
Book and media winners will be announced April 25 in NY.
The Birmingham restaurant, widely regarded as one of the finest in the South, earned its ninth straight James Beard Foundation Award nomination for the country's most outstanding restaurant.
Pizzeria Bianco, a semifinalist for Outstanding Restaurant, was also not a finalist this year.
- A couple of local chefs have been named finalists for James Beard Foundation awards. The full list of finalists has been posted online.
The firm Meyer Davis is a finalist for best Restaurant Design for transforming the architecture of the old Bluepointe space in Lenox (with designers Will Meyer, Gray Davis, Katie McPherson) into the European-inspired St. Cecilia. Winners will be announced May 1.
In 2014, Ardent was a contender for "Best New Restaurant in the United States" during the James Beard semi-finals.
Christensen won Best Chef Southeast in 2014.
Last month, 18 semifinalists from New Orleans were named for the honors in dining and hospitality.