linkDonald Link, of Herbsaint and Cochon, is still in the running for the James Beard Outstanding Chef award, the highest honor the prestigious awards bestow on an individual chef.

Link is competing against:
· David Chang, Momofuku Ssam Bar, NYC
· Gary Danko, Restaurant Gary Danko, San Francisco
· Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park, NYC
· Paul Kahan, Blackbird, Chicago
· Nancy Silverton, Pizzeria Mozza, Los Angeles

Link, who opened a location of Cochon in River Ranch last year, won the James Beard Best Chef: South award  in 2007; Cochon co-founder/chef Stephen Stryjewski won it last year, Gambit noted.

In the running for Best Chef in the South for 2012 are:
· Justin Devillier, La Petite Grocery, New Orleans
· John Harris, Lilette, New Orleans
· Chris Hastings, Hot and Hot Fish Club, Birmingham, AL
· Tory McPhail, Commander’s Palace, New Orleans
· Alon Shaya, Domenica, New Orleans

Justin Girouard of The French Press was named a semifinalist for the Best Chef: South award in February but has been eliminated from the competition.

The Beard Awards are the highest honor for food and beverage professionals in North America. Winners in each category will be announced Monday, May 7, at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York City.

View all the finalists here and read more about Link in this March 2011 Independent cover story.

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