PROVIDENCE - Providence chef Ben Sukle is a finalist in the 2017 James Beard Awards, considered the “Oscars” of the food world.
The James Beard Foundation today announced the finalists in this year’s awards and Sukle is among six New England chefs in the running for Best Chef Northeast. Sukle was nominated for his restaurant birch. He and his wife Heidi are also proprietors of Oberlin in Providence.
Sukle has been nominated in the past, although this is the first time he has made the finals. He was a semifinalist in the same category in 2014 soon after birch had opened. He was also named a Rising Star Chef by the foundation in 2013 when he was a chef at The Dorrance.
Sukle is no stranger to the regional and national food scene. He is among the state’s leaders in demonstrating “farm to table’ cooking both in and out of his restaurants. Sukle is among a group of chefs who participate regularly in culinary events to raise funds for charity and awareness of the state’s ready supply of fresh ingredients.
Award winners are selected by a select panel of culinary writers, educators, chefs and industry professionals. Other semifinalists are Karen Akunowicz of Myers + Chang of Boston, Cassie Piuma of Sarma in Somerville, Susan Regis, chef of Shepard in Cambridge, and the team of Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley of Eventide Oyster Co. in Portland, Maine.
The James Beard Awards will be presented at a gala in Chicago on Monday, May 1.