Perhaps the third time's the charm?
Lenny Russo, chef of Heartland Restaurant
This is the third time Russo has made the list of finalists. Fortunately for Twin Cities' diners, last year the award went to Isaac Becker of 112 Eatery. The year before that it went to chef Alexander Roberts of Restaurant Alma.
This year Russo is the only Minnesota chef to make the list of finalists. Can we hope to be so lucky again?
Two other Minnesotans are up for awards in other categories. MPR's own Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift are finalists in the "General Cooking" category for their cookbook The Splendid Table's How to Eat Weekends.
The full list of nominees can be found here.
Good luck to all the finalists!