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Café Kandahar Executive Chef Named James Beard Semifinalist

By Beacon Staff

Café Kandahar Executive Chef Andy Blanton is at it again: after
having cooked at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City and having been nominated for James Beard Foundation awards in the past, Blanton now in the running to be named the Northwest’s best chef.

Here’s a rundown from the Whitefish Convention and Visitors Bureau:

Blanton is among 20 semi-finalists in the Northwest and one of two in Montana who were selected in the “Best Chef” category for the 2013 James Beard Foundation Awards, the nation’s most prestigious recognition program honoring professionals in the food and beverage industries. The Northwest category includes chefs from Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Washington.

The acclaimed group of semifinalists in the 19 Restaurant and Chef categories represents a wide variety of culinary talent, from legendary chefs and dining destinations in 10 different regions across the United States, to the nation’s best new restaurants and rising star chefs. The foundation’s Restaurant and Chef Committee selected the nominees from 21,000 online entries. This is Chef Blanton’s third nomination for the award.

“It is a tremendous honor to be on the semi-final list once again,” said Blanton, who has served as executive chef at Café Kandahar since 2000. “I am grateful and proud of our staff who can share in the recognition of their hard work and efforts.” Café Kandahar is located inside the Kandahar Lodge, at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

“Andy is one of the reasons that Whitefish has become nationally known for its culinary scene,” said Jan Metzmaker, director of the Whitefish Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Anyone who has eaten at Café Kandahar knows that it is an unforgettable experience and we’re proud that Andy and his team have been acknowledged.”

An independent volunteer panel of more than 400 judges from across the country will vote to determine the final five nominees in each category. Those nominees will be announced on March 13, 2013 in Charleston, N.C., with the winners announced at the James Beard Foundation Awards and Gala on May 6, 2013 at Lincoln Center in New York City.

Congrats, Chef Andy!

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