It’s a three-peat for State & Lemp, Boise’s home of haute cuisine. For the third year in a row, Chef Kris Komori is a semi-finalist for a prestigious James Beard Award. For the uninitiated, the Beard Awards are commonly referred to as “the Oscars of food.”
Komori and his crew at State & Lemp are the only Idaho restaurant to get a nod from the Beard Foundation this year. Competition in the Best Chef: Northwest category is between 20 chefs. Among the nominees, one or two are in Alaska, Montana and Wyoming, but the vast majority of the competitors are based in hubs Seattle and Portland. Before coming to Idaho and upping the cooking ante in the Gem State, Komori got his start in kitchens in Portland.
State & Lemp, located at the titular intersection, is a small and intimate restaurant. Diners sit at a long, communal table and are encouraged to socialize with fellow patrons. Service begins with a flute of champagne as the guests mingle while staff puts the finishing touches on the dining room. Once it’s ready, diners take their seats and the multi-course food odyssey begins. Komori’s menu changes seasonally and tries to use ingredients sourced from the area.
The Beard Foundation will release a list of finalists for the awards March 14. The winners will be named at a lavish gala in New York City on May 7.
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