James Beard Foundation just released the semifinalists (link PDF) for its annual awards honoring the nation's best restaurants, chefs and other food and drink professionals.
A few folks from our area earned spots on the list:
Michael Smith, Michael Smith, Kansas City, MO
The American Restaurant, Kansas City, MO
Best Chef Midwest-
Linda Duerr, Zest, Leawood, KS
Colby Garrelts, Bluestem, Kansas City, MO