Today, the 2019 James Beard Awards Restaurant and Chef Semifinalists were announced and Jill Vedaa, chef-owner of Salt
in Lakewood, made the cut. Vedaa made last year's semi list as well, only to be edged out come the big event.
"Honestly, I'm blown away," she says. "The first year was 'wow, this is amazing.' But this year is validating. It truly brought tears to my eyes. I'm so proud of what Jess (Parkison) and I have built and that people are getting it. To have put all the work in over the years and to be acknowledged on this level takes my breath away. So very honored and love representing this city!"
She joins Ohio City eatery Larder Delicatessen (1455 W. 29th St., 216-912-8203) on the list, with that restaurant earning a spot in the Best New Restaurant category.
On Wednesday, March 27, this lengthy list of semifinalists will be whittled down to a much more competitive list of finalists. Those finalists will learn their fate at the big James Beard Awards Gala in Chicago on Monday, May 6.
We'll follow up with this story on March 27.