You read here in February that Capital Hotel pastry chef Tandra Watkins was a semifinalist for a James Beard Award. Now, Watkins has been nominated by Food & Wine Magazine as a finalist in the People's Best New Pastry Chef competition. You can vote for the person you want to see as the winner this week only, April 1-8, here.
A press release from the hotel said the award includes "50 chefs from three regions, all talented relative-newcomers who have run their own restaurant pastry kitchens for up to five years." Watkins is the only Arkansas nominee.
Watkins has been pastry chef at the hotel since 2007 and is known for her "TandyCakes" wedding cakes as well as the desserts served at Ashley's and the Capital Hotel Bar. Her bio on the Food & Wine voting site lists her "quintessential dessert" as a Lemon vacherin, vanilla parfait with crisp meringue and lemon sorbet.
The James Beard Foundation has announced its 2013 semifinalists in its Restaurant and Chef Awards, and Ashley's Restaurant pastry chef Tandra Watkins is one of 20 semifinalists in the pastry category.
Finalists will be named March 18 and livestreamed on Eater. Winners will be announced at the James Beard Foundation Awards on May 6 at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in New York City.
Read about the Capital Hotel chef here. (Link updated at request of Capital Hotel.)
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