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Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation celebrates, nurtures, and honors chefs and other leaders making America's food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. Reiley's series began in April 2016, and a couple follow-up stories to the investigation's initial Parts 1 through 3 have been published since.

The James Beard Foundation also hands out awards for culinary book, broadcast and journalism categories.

In addition to chef and restaurant awards, James Beard media award nominees were named Wednesday and Minnesota writers and media personalities were among the bunch. Also nominated are Seattle's Edouardo Jordan (Salare) and Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi (Joule, Revel, Trove), who opened a Portland restaurant of their own a year ago with Revelry.

In 2017, Arizona has a grand total of zero James Beard award finalists - again.

Of the five finalists for Best New Restaurant, two are here in San Francisco: In Situ and Tartine Manufactory. The James Beard Foundation committee narrows down these two into a "long list" of semi-finalists.

After 15 years as executive chef at Tennessee's famed Blackberry Farm, the North Carolina-native Fleer became the chef of Canyon Kitchen at Lonesome Valley in Cashiers, opening Rhubarb in downtown Asheville in 2013.

In the outstanding service category, the nominees were Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, N.Y.; Galatoire's Restaurant in New Orleans; Marea in New York City; Terra in St. Helena, Calif.; and Zahav in Philadelphia.

-- Chris Hastings of Birmingham's Hot and Hot Fish Club, for best chef in the South in 2012. This was Hollyday's third consecutive year being named a semifinalist.