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Forest Grill Chef Named Semifinalist for James Beard Award

The Forest Grill's David Gilbert is one of 20 semifinalists for the 2012 James Beard Foundation's award for the best chef in the Great Lakes region.

Birmingham is home to one of the best chefs in the region — Executive Chef David Gilbert has been named as one of 20 semifinalists for the 2012 James Beard Foundation award for the best chef in the Great Lakes region.

The awards bestowed by the James Beard Foundation are some of the highest honors given for food and beverage professionals in North America.

The foundation promotes culinary arts by honoring chefs, wine professionals, journalists and cookbooks across the country. The foundation also offers workshops, classes and conferences for aspiring chefs.

Gilbert is one of three semifinalists in Michigan, being recognized alongside Luciano Del Signore of Bacco Ristorante in Southfield and Matthew Miller of The Reserve in Grand Rapids.

The Beard Foundation's Great Lakes region includes Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Indiana.

According to mLive, Gilbert got his start working with his current boss, Forest Grill owner Brian Polcyn, at the now-closed Five Lakes Grill. Gilbert attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York City and worked in California, Spain and France before he returned to Michigan in 2005.

This isn't the first time Gilbert has brushed elbows with the James Beard Foundation. Gilbert helped the Forest Grill prepare for the foundation's Celebrity Chef Tour, .

The list of 20 semifinalists will be whittled down to five finalists March 19; winners in all categories will be announced May 7 in New York.

Alan Stamm February 24, 2012 at 11:39 AM
Chef Gilbert has been in the running two straight years after being among Michigan's four 2011 semifinalists. Alex Young of Zingerman's Roadhouse in Ann Arbor wound up as the regional winner in that 20-chef field,

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