Perennial James Beard Foundation nominee Zach Bell of Palm Beach's Café Boulud is getting a third crack at being named Best Chef South, joining Dean James Max of Fort Lauderdale's 3030 Ocean as two of three South Florida semifinalists for the 2011 Beard award.
The third SoFla chef is Philippe Ruiz, top toque at Palme d'Or at Coral Gables' Biltmore hotel.
No other Broward or Palm Beach chefs-restaurants-restaurateurs made the cut, though Miami semifinalists include Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill for Best New Restaurant, Myles Chefetz of Myles Restaurant Group for Outstanding Restaurateur, Yvonne Roberts of the Biltmore for Outstanding Wine Service, and Sam Gorenstein of BLT Steak for Rising Star Chef of the Year.
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The winners will be announced at the Beard Foundation awards dinner, set for May 9 at Lincoln Center in New York City.