2007_03_beard.jpg Yesterday morning, the nominees for the 2007 James Beard Foundation Awards were announced at the Beard House on West 12th Street. In additional to New York restaurant stalwarts David Waltuck of Chanterelle, Floyd Cardoz of Tabla, and Terrance Brennan of Picholine (which was rebooted in 2006 to impressive reviews, the nominees also include a bumper crop of young chefs including David Chang for Momofuku Ssam Bar, Daniel Humm for Eleven Madison Park (both for Rising Star Chef of the Year), and cut chemist Will Goldfarb of Room 4 Dessert (for Outstanding Pastry Chef). Three other nominees from San Francisco, Boston, and Chicago round out the Rising Star Chefs category; Goldfarb faces competition from four other nominees in the pastry category, including Michael Laskonis of Le Bernadin.

The Beard Foundation Awards are the Golden Globes of the food world, and New York restaurants are picked apart over many categories, remarkable this year for the accomplishments of their chefs, bracketed by age: Will Goldfarb, Andrew Carmellini (Best New Restaurant), Gabriel Kreuther and Wylie Dufrense (Best Chef: New York City) all under 40; Daniel Humm and David Chang are turning 31 and 30 this year. A full list of nominees is available here.

Despite Grub Street and Gawker’s fascination with the Jason Neroni, “nominate me for an award” email non-story last fall (not to mention Frank Bruni devoting a ridiculous 1/10 of his one star review of Neroni’s restaurant Porchetta to rehashing the controversy), members of the general public, and not just members of the organization, are encouraged to participate in the nomination process for the awards. This includes people like your great aunt with a sizzling crush on Bobby Flay's poblano grits, friends, family, and anyone who feels like nominating some chefs. Keep that in mind for next year.

The awards are named for culinary statesman James Beard, the fixtures of whose outdoor greenhouse shower can still be seen when one visits the Foundation’s headquarters inside the master cook’s former townhouse, which has also been retrofitted with an industrial show kitchen. Winners for the awards will be announced on May 7th at Avery Fisher Hall. Did any chef or restaurant in the Manhattan or greater New York area get snubbed? Let us know in the comments section.