Make us your home page
Instagram

Tampa chef Greg Baker a James Beard nominee again

Could the third time be the charm for Tampa chef Greg Baker?

The innovative chef of the Refinery in Seminole Heights has been named a semifinalist for Best Chef: South for the second consecutive year by the James Beard Foundation. In 2011, the Refinery got a Best New Restaurant nomination. Baker is the only Tampa Bay semifinalist this year in any category, after being among three honored in 2012. Semifinalists are nominated by local food writers and critics and other food professionals.

"It's a little staggering, incredibly humbling and flattering at the same time," Baker said. "The recognition is really nice, but the reality is, I am still in the kitchen doing what I do."

The Refinery and Baker got some national attention last August when the Republican National Convention was in Tampa. Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema called it a "funky foodie favorite" and recommended it to RNC visitors.

"I am sure a nice little shout-out tweet from (former New York Times food critic) Frank Bruni didn't hurt us. Even though he doesn't write about food anymore, he still carries a big stick," Baker said.

The last time the Tampa Bay area had a James Beard winner was 1992, the second year the awards were given. Bern's Steak House sommelier Derrick Pagan won for wine service.

The Refinery, at 5137 N Florida Ave., has received consistent good reviews for its focus on fresh, local ingredients and its menus that change weekly. Baker owns the Refinery with his wife, Michelle. Chef Mario Batali stopped by for a meal there earlier last year.

This list of 20 semifinalists will be culled to five and the winners will be announced at a May 6 gala at Avery Fisher Hall in New York. The finalists will be announced on March 18.

Baker is among a number of Florida chefs on the semifinalist list in his category. The others are Peter Arpke, Beach Bistro, Holmes Beach; Kathleen Blake, the Rusty Spoon, Orlando; Clay Conley, Buccan, Palm Beach; Scott Hunnel, Victoria & Albert's at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort; Brandon McGlamery, Luma on Park, Winter Park; Jeff McInnis, Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, Miami Beach; Jose Mendin, Pubbelly, Miami Beach; James and Julie Petrakis, the Ravenous Pig, Winter Park; and Hari Pulapaka, Cress, DeLand.

Other Florida semifinalists are Khong River House, Miami Beach, for Best New Restaurant; the Broken Shaker, Miami Beach, for Best Bar Program; Hedy Goldsmith, Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, Miami, for Best Pastry Chef; Victoria & Albert's at Disney for Best Service; and Giorgio Rapicavoli, Eating House, Coral Gables, for Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional.

For a complete list of semifinalists, go to jamesbeard.org. The James Beard Foundation names the best chefs, restaurants and food professionals each year along with honoring cookbooks and food writing.

Tampa chef Greg Baker a James Beard nominee again 02/20/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 10:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Aug. 21-27

    Events

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Watch the team practice for free at Bucs Training Camp on Tuesday-Thursday at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, where you'll also find the crew from HBO's Hard Knocks, the reality show featuring our team. Saturday, the team takes on the Cleveland Browns in a preseason game at …

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) participates in practice during training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017.
  2. Comedy legend Jerry Lewis dead at 91

    Obituaries

    LOS ANGELES — Jerry Lewis, the manic, rubber-faced showman who jumped and hollered to fame in a lucrative partnership with Dean Martin, settled down to become a self-conscious screen auteur and found an even greater following as the tireless, teary host of the annual muscular dystrophy telethons, has died. He was …

    In this Sept. 2, 1990, file photo, entertainer Jerry Lewis makes his opening remarks at the 25th Anniversary of the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon fundraiser in Los Angeles. Lewis, the comedian whose fundraising telethons became as famous as his hit movies, has died according to his publicist. [Associated Press]
  3. If you miss out on Retro Futura tour, you'll be needing a little 'Tenderness'

    Blogs

    Closing out Retro Futura Week is a little bit of a cheat. We started the week with the English Beat and we end it with an offshoot of the Beat, the band General Public and their hit …

  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Aug. 20

    Events

    The Art of the Brick: An elaborate display of more than 100 pieces of Lego artwork including the life sized sculpture of a man ripping open his chest, a 20-foot-long T. rex skeleton, a giant skull and replicas of famous works including Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night and Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona …

    Eliana Goldberg, 5, of Wesley Chapel looks at a Lego sculpture called "Everlasting" at The Art of the Brick exhibit, which opened Friday in Tampa and runs through Sept. 4. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  5. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]