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These Puerto Rican chefs just got nominated for the ‘Oscars of the food world’

In Miami Herald


By Carlos Frías

Puerto Rico’s best chefs just got nominated for the Oscars of the food world.

The James Beard Foundation,which honors the best in dining and restaurants, named José Enrique of his namesake restaurant and María Mercedes Grubb of Gallo Negro to its list of semifinalists in the category of Best Chef: South.

Plus, the San Juan restaurant Vianda, by Puerto Rico native Francis Guzmán and his chef-spouse Amelia Dill, is nominated for Best New Restaurant.

The James Beard Foundation will narrow its choices to finalists on March 27, and winners will be announced at an annual black-tie gala May 6 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Enrique is the island’s pride and best-known chef. He has been a semifinalist every year since 2013 and was named a finalist in his category in each of the last two years at his namesake restaurant Jose Enrique. Gallo Negro, where Grubb is the executive chef, is consistently rated among the island’s best restaurants.

They join several South Florida chefs as semifinalist for best chef in the south, including last year’s finalist Brad Kilgore of the Wynwood restaurant Alter.

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