Carlisle named James Beard finalist

Pool of five in the running for Best Chef Midwest

Red Light Ramen.

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:23 pm

Chef Justin Carlisle has made it through to the finalist round for the James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef: Midwest.

Red Light Ramen.
Red Light Ramen.

Carlisle is the chef at Ardent and Red Light Ramen on Milwaukee’s East Side. He is among a pool of five finalists in the 2017 Restaurant and Chef Awards Best Chef: Midwest category. The others are: 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.

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.

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.

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

The winners will be announced at the 2017 James Beard Awards Gala at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on May 1.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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