• NECI graduates contend for James Beard Awards
    Staff Report | March 04,2014
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    MONTPELIER — The James Beard Foundation has nominated eight alumni of the New England Culinary Institute as semifinalists for prestigious awards in several categories including outstanding chef and outstanding restaurateur.

    The nominees are located from coast to coast. In Des Moines, Iowa, NECI graduate Sean Wilson is the executive chef and partner at Proof Restaurant. This is Wilson’s second nomination in two years.

    John Sundstrum is the chef-owner of Lark in Seattle and the James Beard Award winner for best chef in the Northwest in 2007. He received another nomination this year for his culinary work.

    In the South, Matt McClure and Rob McDaniel were both recognized as best chef in the South and were nominated for the James Beard Awards. Southern chefs Josh Keeler and Ford Fry were also honored with nominations.

    Two New Englanders were nominated. Matt Jennings, of Rhode Island, already a two-time James Beard finalist, got his third nomination. He is joined by fellow NECI alumnus Barry Maiden, of Massachusetts.

    The James Beard Foundation offers a variety of events and programs designed to educate, inspire, entertain and foster a deeper understanding of our culinary culture.

    Finalists for each award will be announced this month.

    NECI was founded in 1980. For more information visit www.neci.edu.
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