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Meet a Vermont chef in the running for a James Beard Award

Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 5:56 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 15, 2022 at 6:05 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Chefs and restaurants will soon find out who moves ahead to the next round of the James Beard Awards, the Oscars of the food industry.

Among the semifinalists from our region is Chef Christian Kruse from the Black Flannel Brewing Company in Essex.

Black Flannel is the only brewery in the country to have their chef in the semifinals.

Kruse tells us it’s a nod to the James Beard Awards becoming more inclusive and acknowledging the craft of chefs who don’t work in fine dining.

“The landscape is changing. The food that breweries are accustomed to doing, it shows that we’re pushing boundaries really. On what a brewery can produce, not just the beer, not just the distillery but the food,” Kruse said.

He says part of their success also comes from their deft use of the beer they make and beer pairings in and with their food.

There were a couple of other nominees from our region.

Cafe Mamajuana in Burlington is up for best new restaurant.

And Nisachon Morgan from Saap in Randolph is also nominated for best chef.

They’ll learn whether they’re in the top five on Wednesday.

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