A month ago, the 2013 James Beard Foundation restaurant and chef semifinalists were announced. Yesterday the semifinalists were narrowed down to three nominees in each category. Additionally, the announcements for the book, broadcast and journalism awards were made.

The James Beard website has a lovely .pdf with information with all of the nominees, but it’s a little difficult to get through all the pages. I prefer Eater’s simplified 2013 James Beard Award Finalist list because not only is it more succinct, it has links to many of the nominees. Eater, by the way, is in the running for Group Food Blog along with Grub Street NY and Dark Rye.

Which brings me to one of the reasons I pay attention to the James Beard Award nominees. I get introduced to new quality, people, restaurants, and writing in the food world. I hadn’t heard about Dark Rye, but now the online magazine by Whole Foods is on my radar.

Other things I’m happy to have discovered while perusing the nominees include Liquor.com’s YouTube channel “How to Cocktail” and the beautifully photographed Canalle et Vanille blog.

It’s also exciting to see Hank Shaw, who I interviewed a while back for Meet Hank Shaw, a finder of forgotten feasts nominated for Individual Food Blog for his Hunter Angler Gardener Cook blog. Also nominated is Michael Natkin’s “Herbivoracious,” a cookbook I reviewed last year after Natkin invited me to an event for his vegetarian cookbook. Both Shaw and Natkin are very deserving of nominations.

Have you discovered anything or anyone new from following the James Beard Award nominees and winners?

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