Ferrell Alvarez, Richard Gonzmart named 2017 James Beard semifinalists

Chris Ponte inside his latest restaurant project On Swann

Chris Ponte inside his latest restaurant project On Swann

Qualifiers must have spent the last five years as a chef, three of which working in the region for which they are nominated.

Winners of the 2017 James Beard Media Awards will be announced on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, at an exclusive event honoring the nation's top cookbook authors, culinary broadcast producers and hosts, and food journalists at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City. No Hawaii chefs were named semifinalists in the regional Best Chef or Rising Star Chef of the Year categories this year.

Tripp, who also qualified as a semifinalist in 2016, began his tenure at Alba after a stint at Fruition Restaurant in Denver. The restaurant specializes in traditional Mexican and Southwestern cuisine, inspired by Smedstad's extensive travels through Mexico.

This is the first James Beard nomination for Skokan, who also runs Bramble & Hare in Boulder.

Kevin Binkley, who has been nominated for Best Chef for his work at Binkley's restaurant in Cave Creek for the past several years, did not make the list this year.

Chris Ponte inside his latest restaurant project, On Swann. Redzikowksi and Seidel were also nominated in this category past year, along with Work & Class chef/partner Dana Rodriguez.

The category pits chefs from New Jersey against those from Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C., and has only been won by a New Jersey chef twice: Craig Shelton when he was at the Ryland Inn in Whitehouse Station and Maricel Presilla of Hoboken's Cucharamama.

Frasca Food and Wine is one of 20 semifinalists in the Outstanding Restaurant category.

Stephan Pyles' Flora Street Cafe is a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant in this year's James Beard Awards. The announcements are broadcast online via the Foundation's Facebook Live feed.

Finalists for the awards - considered by many to be the equivalent of a culinary Oscar - will be announced on March 15.

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