Yesterday, three Des Moines chefs were named as semi-finalists for awards from the James Beard Foundation. The semi-finalists include George Formaro, David Baruthio, and Sean Wilson. The finalists will be announced on March 18, and the awards will be given out the first week of May in New York City.
Sean Wilson and David Baruthio were named as semi-finalists in the "Best Chef: Midwest" category. Chef Wilson bought Proof in the spring of last year, after previously serving as the Executive Chef at Azalea and the Kirkwood Lounge. Chef Baruthio opened Baru 66 with his wife Sara Hill in 2010. The restaurant was a James Beard Foundation nominee for "Best New Restaurant" in 2011. Baruthio and Hill also collaborated on the openings of Lucca and Tartine.
George Formaro is a semi-finalist in the "Outstanding Restaurateur" category. Formaro has opened Centro, Django, South Union Bread Café, Gateway Market & Café, and Zombie Burger + Drink Lab.