Carlisle misses out on James Beard Award

Ardent chef has been finalist three times

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Milwaukee chef Justin Carlisle was again looked over for the James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef: Midwest.

Red Light Ramen.
Red Light Ramen, one of Carlisle’s two Milwaukee restaurants.

Carlisle, chef at Ardent and Red Light Ramen on Milwaukee’s East Side, was one of five finalists in the category for 2017. The others were: Jorge Guzman of Brewer’s Table at Surly Brewing Co. in Minneapolis; Steven Brown of Tilia in Minneapolis; Kevin Willmann of Farmhaus in St. Louis and Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Café in St. Louis.

Nashan was the winner. The 2017 James Beard Awards Gala was held Monday evening at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

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Carlisle also was a finalist in the Best Chef: Midwest category in 2015 and 2016. In 2014, Ardent was a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant.

Karen Bell of Bavette La Boucherie in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward, Thomas Hauck of c.1880 in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood, Jonny Hunter of Forequarter in Madison, Dan Fox of Heritage Tavern in Madison, Luke Zahm of Driftless Café in Viroqua and Lisa Carlson of Chef Shack in Bay City also were semifinalists for Best Chef: Midwest, but did not move on to the finalist round with Carlisle.

Paul and Joe Bartolotta of Milwaukee-based The Bartolotta Restaurants also were named semifinalists, in the Outstanding Restaurateur category. They did not make it through to the finalist round.

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And L’Etoile in Madison was a semifinalist in the Outstanding Restaurant category. It did not continue to the finalist round.

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