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VEGAS REPRESENTED IN JAMES BEARD SEMIFINALS

Las Vegas landed some of its leading chefs among the 2011 James Beard Foundation’s Awards semi-finals on Thursday.

Julian Serrano’s much-acclaimed Picasso at Bellagio made it in two categories: Outstanding Restaurant and Outstanding Wine Service.

Vegas newcomer Jose Andres landed a Best New Restaurant nom for China Poblano, his take on Chinese and Mexican small plates. China Poblano is one of his two restaurants at The Cosmopolitan; the other being Jaleo.

Among the Best Southwest Chefs were Saipin Chutima of Lotus of Siam and Mitsuo Endo of Aburiya Raku.

The Cosmopolitan also was represented by the Brombergs of Blue Ribbon in the Best Restaurateurs category.

Scott Conant of Scarpetta and D.O.C.G. at The Cosmopolitan is a semi-finalists for Best Chef: New York.

–NORM CLARKE, Vegas Confidential

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