James Beard Award finalists: Frank Stitt’s Highlands Bar and Grill and pastry chef Dolester Miles

James Beard Award finalists: Frank Stitt’s Highlands Bar and Grill and pastry chef Dolester Miles
Highlands Bar and Grill is a finalist for "Outstanding Restaurant" in the nation by the James Beard Foundation. (contributed)

For the ninth straight year Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham has been named a finalist for the coveted Outstanding Restaurant award by the James Beard Foundation. Also making it to the finalist round is Highlands’ pastry chef Dolester Miles, for the second straight year, the foundation announced this morning in Los Angeles.

Highlands is joined by Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, Colorado; Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York City; Quince Restaurant in San Francisco; the Spotted Pig in New York City; and Topolobampo in Chicago as Outstanding Restaurant finalists.

Other Pastry Chef finalists are Kelly Fields of Willa Jean in New Orleans, Margarita Manzke of Republicque in Los Angeles and Ghaya Oliveira of Daniel in New York City.

Four Alabama chefs – David Bancroft of Acre in Auburn, Bill Briand of Fisher’s Upstairs at Orange Beach Marina, Timothy Hontzas of Johnny’s Restaurant in Homewood and Rob McDaniel of SpringHouse in Alexander City – were named semifinalists in February for Best Chef: South. None of them­ made the cut for finalist.

Birmingham-based Cooking Light had three finalists in the Media Awards: Robin Bashinsky for Home Cooking, Peggy Knickerbocker for Food and Health, and Francis Lam for Humor.

Media Award winners will be named April 25 in New York City. Restaurant and chef winners will be announced at the 2017 James Beard Awards Gala at the Lyric Opera in Chicago on May 1.

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