At Aerie Restaurant, 16 floors up in the Tower at the Grand Traverse Resort, you’ll get a knockout view of the Traverse area landscape—from farmland and city lights to Lake Michigan—memorable regional cuisine and some of the very best service in the country. The James Beard Foundation just gave that service a very big nod by naming Aerie a semifinalist in the Outstanding Service category along with only 19 other restaurants across the United States. That places Aeire’s service on par with renowned establishments including Emeril’s in New Orleans, La Grenouille in New York City, Marcel’s in Washington D.C. and Spiaggia in Chicago.—E.E.

The James Beard Foundation Awards shines a spotlight on the best and brightest talent in the food and beverage industry. The list of Restaurant and Chef semifinalists for the 2010 James Beard Foundation Awards, the nation’s most prestigious recognition program honoring professionals in the food and beverage industries, was announced today and are now available on Click to read about the three other Traverse area semifinalists—including Blu in Glen Arbor, La Bècasse in Burdickville and Trattoria Stella in Traverse City.

Selected from thousands of online entries, the prestigious group of semifinalists in the 19 Restaurant and Chef categories represents a wide variety of culinary talent, from legendary chefs and dining destinations in 10 different regions across the United States, to the nation’s best new restaurants and rising star chefs.

On Monday, March 22, 2010, the James Beard Foundation will announce the final Restaurant and Chef nominees, as well as Restaurant Design and Graphics, Books, Journalism and Broadcast Media nominees and special achievement award honorees, during an invitation-only breakfast at Dickie Brennan’s acclaimed Palace Café in New Orleans’ French Quarter.  The nominations will also be announced live via the James Beard Foundation’s Twitter page at The list of final nominees will include five finalists in each award category, narrowed down from the list of semifinalists by a panel of more than 400 judges.  Winners will be announced at the highly-anticipated James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception, taking place on Monday, May 3, 2010 at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York City. 

”We are delighted to be announcing the nominations this year in New Orleans, home of 10 past James Beard Award winners,” says Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation.  “As part of our national focus, the Foundation has begun holding our nominees press event in cities outside of New York.  Last year, we presented the nominees in Chicago, and we’re looking forward to what’s in store this year in New Orleans.”

Established in 1990, the James Beard Foundation Awards recognize culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields and continue to emphasize the Foundation’s mission: to celebrate, preserve, and nurture America’s culinary heritage and diversity.  The annual James Beard Foundation Awards honor the best and the brightest talents in the food and beverage industries, celebrating outstanding achievement in each of the following categories: Restaurant and Chef, Restaurant Design and Graphics, Books, Journalism, Broadcast Media, and special achievement awards.  Each category has an individual Awards Committee made up of industry professionals who volunteer their time to oversee the policies, procedures, and selection of judges for their respective Awards program.

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