No luck for Bell and Carlisle at James Beard Awards

Defeated by Minneapolis-based chef for Best Chef Midwest title

Justin Carlisle
Justin Carlisle

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

Karen Bell

Local chefs Karen Bell, owner of Bavette La Boucherie in the Third Ward, and Justin Carlisle, owner of Ardent on Milwaukee’s East Side struck out at the 2018 James Beard Awards Gala, held on Monday, May 7, in Chicago.

Justin Carlisle

In March, they were named among the five finalists in the running for Best Chef Midwest, but were ultimately defeated by Minneapolis-based chef Gavin Kaysen of Spoon and Stable.

Carlisle and Bell were the only James Beard finalists from Wisconsin. The other two finalists, Steven Brown of Tilia and Ann Kim of Young Joni, are both based in Minneapolis.

This marks Carlisle’s fourth consecutive year as a Best Chef Midwest finalist, but he has yet to take home an winners’ medal. He received a Best Chef nomination in 2015, 2016 and 2017, and in 2014, Ardent was a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant. Bell this year was a second-time semifinalist for Best Chef, receiving the nomination last year, but this was her first finalist nomination.

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Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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