Maine has earned very respectable representation in this year's James Beard Awards.

Maine has chefs, restauranteurs, restaurants, bakers, and bakeries represented in this year's semifinals.

The James Beard Award

Based in New York, the James Bear Awards recognize the greatest in culinary achievement. The goal is...

to recognize exceptional talent and achievement in the culinary arts, hospitality, media, and broader food system, as well as a demonstrated commitment to racial and gender equity, community, sustainability, and a culture where all can thrive.

These are world-class awards. Besides a Michelin Star, the James Beard Awards are the cream of the crop. To even be nominated is a tremendous accomplishment.

James Beard Award Maine Nominees

Maine is represented in the James Beard Award semifinals by 10 nominees. Many of the chefs are in Portland, but four towns are represented.

Cara Stadler's incredible restaurant empire has her and Cecile Stadler up for "Restaurateur of the Year."

The crew over at Woodford Food & Beverage is a semifinalist for the "Outstanding Hospitality" award.

Four chefs are up for "Best Chef, Northeast", those being Celia Bruns from Artemisia Cafe, Ian Driscoll of Bar Futo, The Honey Paw's Valerie Goldman, and Jake Stevens from Leeward.

The Alna Store, which can be found in the small town of Alna, is up for "Best New Restaurant."

Maine has one "Emerging Chef" award nominee. That went to Jospeh Robbins, who has been turning heads up at Bissell Brothers Three Rivers in Milo.

The very popular ZU Bakery in Portland got a nomination for "Best Bakery."

And last, but certainly not least, Atsuko Fujimoto of Norimoto Bakery in Portland is up for "Outstanding Baker". This is her third nomination in a row.

The finalists will be announced on April 3, with the winners being awarded and celebrated later this year at the Lyric Opera in Chicago on June 10.

Below is a closer look at Maine's semifinalists.

2024 Maine James Beard Award Semifinalists

The annual James Beard Awards recently announced their semifinalists. The awards that celebrate culinary excellence in America have included 10 nominees from Maine this year.

His is a closer look at Maine's semifinalists.

Gallery Credit: Chris Sedenka

31 Bucket List Restaurants in Maine

Here are 31 Maine restaurants that folks told us are bucket list worthy. They are very diverse can be found across the state.

Gallery Credit: Chris Sedenka