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Meet Kansas City’s 2018 James Beard Award semifinalists

KC’s 2018 James Beard Semifinalists from left: Michael Corvino (best chef) of Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room; Colby and Megan Garrelts (outstanding pastry chef) of Bluestem (outstanding restaurant); Taylor Petrehn (outstanding baker) of 1900 Barker; and Manifesto (outstanding bar program).
KC’s 2018 James Beard Semifinalists from left: Michael Corvino (best chef) of Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room; Colby and Megan Garrelts (outstanding pastry chef) of Bluestem (outstanding restaurant); Taylor Petrehn (outstanding baker) of 1900 Barker; and Manifesto (outstanding bar program). The Star

Drumroll, please.

Today the James Beard Foundation announced the 2018 Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists — and five KC-area chefs, restaurants, bakers and bars made the cut.

Michael Corvino of Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room in the Crossroads is up for Best Chef: Midwest, and Megan Garrelts of Rye, which has locations in Leawood and the Country Club Plaza, is in the running for Outstanding Pastry Chef.

Plaza Rye
Colby and Megan Garrelts own Bluestem and Rye, which opened a second location at 4646 J.C. Nichols Parkway on the Country Club Plaza last year. Megan Garrelts is a semifinalist in the Outstanding Pastry Chef category in the James Beard Foundation’s 2018 Restaurant and Chef Awards. ALLISON LONG along@kcstar.com

Bluestem, the Westport fine dining restaurant that Garrelts co-owns with husband Colby, is a semifinalist in the Outstanding Restaurant category, and Manifesto, a speakeasy-style cocktail bar in the Crossroads, is up for Outstanding Bar Program.

Manifesto drinks
Craft cocktails are the star at Manifesto, a speakeasy-style bar at 1924 Main St. that’s up for Outstanding Bar Program in the 2018 James Beard awards. Roy Inman

Lawrence also has a James Beard Award semifinalist: Taylor Petrehn of 1900 Barker, a neighborhood bakery and coffee shop, has been nominated for Outstanding Baker.

1900 Barker
Taylor Petrehn, left, and brother Reagan co-own 1900 Barker, a bakery and coffee shop in Lawrence. Taylor Petrehn is a semifinalist in the James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef awards for the second year in a row. Roy Inman

This is the second year in a row that Garrelts, Manifesto and Petrehn have been named semifinalists in the James Beard Awards, which are among the highest honors in the culinary world.

It’s the third time that Bluestem has made the short list for Outstanding Restaurant. Owner Colby Garrelts won Best Chef: Midwest in 2013.

Bluestem interior
Bluestem has been a semifinalist in the Outstanding Restaurant category of the James Beard Foundation awards for three years in a row. The Westport restaurant underwent a makeover in 2014. David Eulitt The Kansas City Star

This is the first James Beard Award nod for Michael Corvino, who opened Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room at 1830 Walnut St. less than a year ago. Four months later, the restaurant was honored with a AAA Four Diamond Award, which is given to just two percent of 30,000 restaurants reviewed each year by anonymous trained reviewers.

Michael Corvino
Chef Michael Corvino (left, shown here with cook Matt Stowe) is a semifinalist for Best Chef: Midwest in the James Beard Foundation’s 2018 Restaurant and Chef awards. His restaurant, Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room, opened last year at 1830 Walnut in the Crossroads. Tammy Ljungblad tljungblad@kcstar.com

Finalists will be revealed on March 14, and winners will be announced May 7 at the James Beard Awards Gala in Chicago.

Chef Michael Corvino opens Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room in the Crossroads with his wife, Christina. The handsome, double-duty restaurant offers “seasonal” and “shareable” plates.

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