Five Milwaukee chefs nominated for James Beard Awards

Paul and Joe Bartolotta nominated for Outstanding Restauranteur

Joe Bartolotta

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:22 pm

Joe Bartolotta

Several Milwaukee-based chefs and restauranteurs have been chosen as 2018 James Beard Award semifinalists for Best Chef and Outstanding Restauranteur categories, the James Beard Foundation announced today.

Five local chefs have been nominated for Best Chef Midwest: Karen Bell, owner of Bavette La Boucherie in the Historic Third Ward; Justin Carlisle, owner of Ardent and Red Light Ramen on the East Side and Laughing Taco in Walker’s Point; Thomas Hauck, owner of c.1880 in Walker’s Point; and Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite, owners of Dan Dan and EsterEv in the Third Ward.

Additionally, Paul and Joe Bartolotta, owners of The Bartolotta Restaurants have been nominated for Outstanding Restaurateur.

This is Jacobs’ and Van Rite’s first ever James Beard Award nomination while Bell, Carlisle, Hauck and the Bartolotta’s are second-year nominees. Paul Bartolotta won Best Chef while he worked at Spiaggia in Chicago in 1994 and later, at Bartolotta’s Ristorante di Mare in Las Vegas in 2009. 

Other Wisconsin-based Best Chef Midwest nominees are Lisa Carlson of Chef Shack in Bay City, Jonny Hunter of Forequarter in Madison, Jay Sparks of Lovechild in La Crosse and Stefano Viglietti of Trattoria Stefano in Sheboygan.

Starting in October, the public could nominate up to two individuals online and The James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee selects the semifinalists from that list. Five finalists in each category will be chosen by a group comprised of former award winners, award committee members and regional panelists.

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Maredithe Meyer covers restaurants, retail, tourism, and sports and entertainment. She joined BizTimes in 2015, previously as an intern reporter. She earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University in 2017. When she's not on the job, Maredithe coaches field hockey and loves exploring her favorite city on earth, Milwaukee.

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