James Beard Award
Friday, February 20, 2009
By Carl Wilson
The leaders of the Quaintance-Weaver restaurant group have been nominated for a James Beard Foundation award.
Dennis and Nancy Quaintance, along with Mike Weaver, of Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants in Greensboro, are among the national semifinalists in the 2009 Restaurant and Chef awards. They are in the running for the Outstanding Restaurateur award.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Dennis Quaintance said. “I never conceived it.”
Quaintance-Weaver – which leads the restaurant teams of Lucky 32, Green Valley Grill and Print Works Bistro – is one of 20 national semifinalists with only two being from the southeast. It was chosen from a list of 15,000 nominations in 19 categories.
The James Beard Foundation Awards are compared to the Oscars of the food world.
Quaintance credits the nomination to the efforts of his restaurants to be locally sustaining, the purity and quality of the food and perhaps recent advances in being more green. He also gives unabashed credence to his restaurants’ staffs.
“What I feel like doing is walking out and hugging a bunch of people in our restaurants,” he said. “They are the ones humping it everyday. This would have never happened were it not for their collective behaviors and sincerity.”
The finalists will be announced March 23 at ceremony in Chicago.
What is Outstanding Restaurateur?
A working restaurateur who sets high national standards in restaurant operations and entrepreneurship. Candidates must have been in the restaurant business for at least 10 years. Candidates must not have been nominated for a James Beard Foundation chef award in the past 10 years.
Nominee Selection and Judging
Anyone can submit a chef or restaurant for consideration during the online open call for entries in the fall. Entries are tabulated by the independent accounting firm Lutz & Carr, and based on the results, the Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee produces a nominating ballot with up to 20 semifinalists in each category. This ballot is distributed online to more than 400 judges, who select the five official nominees in each category. The same judges then vote on these five nominees to choose the winners.
The judges include previous Restaurant and Chef Award winners, the Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee, 25 leading regional restaurant critics, food and wine editors, and culinary educators in each of the 10 regions. There are more than 400 judges nationwide.
In each category, the judges are looking for individuals whose contribution to their field is unique and long-lasting.