Local chefs named semifinalists for James Beard award

By Troy Hooper
Real AspenMarch 10, 2011
Two local chefs have been nominated for the prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards.

Ryan Hardy
Via The Little Nell

Ryan Hardy, chef of Montagna at the Little Nell in Aspen, and Mark Fischer, chef of Six89 in Carbondale, are nominated as best chefs of the Southwest.

They are in competition with fellow Colorado chefs Kelly Liken of “Top Chef” television fame who operates a restaurant under her own name in Vail, Jennifer Jasinski of Rioja in Denver, Alex Seidel of Fruition Restaurant in Denver and Bertrand Bouquin of Summit at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. In all, there are 20 chefs up for the honor in the region, which also includes Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah.

Hardy and Fischer have been nominated for the distinction in the past and both are celebrated for integrating natural ingredients, often locally grown, into their gourmet food. Hardy even owns a 15-acre farm in Crawford that serves as an earthly cupboard for many of his culinary creations. Both men also feature food from Carbondale, Paonia and from across the Western Slope.

In addition to Six89, Fischer also operates another popular eatery on Carbondale's Main Street, Phat Thai, and he recently opened a third establishment, The Pullman, in downtown Glenwood Springs.
Mark Fischer

The list of James Beard nominees will be shortened on March 21.

Winners will be announced in May.

Other nominees connected to Colorado include ChoLon in Denver for best new restaurant; Yasmin Lozada-Hissom at Olivéa in Denver for outstanding pastry chef; Frank Bonanno of Bonanno Concepts in Denver (Bones, Green Russell, Luca D’Italia, Lou’s Food Bar, Mizuna, Osteria Marco, and Wednesday’s Pie) for outstanding restaurateur; and Bobby Stuckey, of Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, who was nominated for outstanding wine service.

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