Juneau chef nominated as James Beard semifinalist

In Bocca Al Lupo head chef nominated for best chef northwest category

Beau Schooler has been nominated as a semifinalist for the best chef northwest James Beard Foundation award. (Courtesy photo)

Beau Schooler has been nominated as a semifinalist for the best chef northwest James Beard Foundation award. (Courtesy photo)

A local chef has been nominated for a national food award again.

The James Beard Foundation nominated Beau Schooler, the chef at In Bocca Al Lupo, as a semifinalist for the Best Chef: Northwest category.

“I think it reflects really well on my staff here,” Schooler said. “I mean it has my name attached to it, but it also has the restaurant attached to it. I think that a lot of my employees, both the front and back, have worked really hard so that’s why we’ve gotten the attention.”

This is his third nomination as a semifinalist, but he’s never made it into the top five finalists, he said.

[New Italian restaurant opens in old Silverbow Bakery space]

He said he never knows when the crew shows up to judge the restaurant.

“Their whole selection process is very secretive so people can’t try to game it,” Schooler said.

Right now there are 20 people nominated in the northwest. Then it goes down to five, and previous winners choose one winner from those finalists.

A dish from In Bocca Al Lupo in downtown Juneau. (Courtesy photo)

A dish from In Bocca Al Lupo in downtown Juneau. (Courtesy photo)

“I don’t think I’m ever going to get to (the finalist group),” Schooler said. “I think it’s weird we’re on (the semifinalist list) to begin with. I know a lot of chefs personally in the northwest alone that are a lot more talented than myself.”

When asked if he is being humble or whether he really thinks that, Schooler said, “Maybe both. I’m surprised by the attention that we get even just in the media in general, and then this.”

He said that he isn’t going to try to change up the menu now, knowing that people will be coming to judge again for the finalist round.

“I feel like if we try to change or be different, that’s not why we got where we are in the first place,” Schooler said.

Laura Cole, from 229 Parks Restaurant & Tavern in Denali National Park & Preserve was the only other Alaskan nominated in the Best Chef: Northwest category.

James Beard Foundation will announce the final Restaurant and Chef Award nominees, as well as the nominees for the Media and Restaurant Design Awards, in Houston on Wednesday, March 27.

A pizza from In Bocca Al Lupo in downtown Juneau. (Courtesy photo)

A pizza from In Bocca Al Lupo in downtown Juneau. (Courtesy photo)


• Contact reporter Mollie Barnes at mbarnes@juneauempire.com or 523-2228.


Chef Beau Schooler pulls fresh bread out a wood-fired oven at the new Italian restaurant “In Bocca Al Lupo” downtown in this March 2016 file photo. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Chef Beau Schooler pulls fresh bread out a wood-fired oven at the new Italian restaurant “In Bocca Al Lupo” downtown in this March 2016 file photo. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

More in News

Even as coronavirus numbers are going down and vaccines are being distributed, pandemic-related facilities like the testing site at Juneau International Airport, seen here in this Oct. 12 file photo, are scheduled to remain for some time, according to city health officials. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Vaccines are coming, but pandemic facilities will remain

Testing sites and other COVID-19 operations will continue, officials say, but infections are trending down.

After violent protesters loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol today, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, left, and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., join other senators as they return to the House chamber to continue the joint session of the House and Senate and count the Electoral College votes cast in November's election, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Murkowski on impeachment: ‘I will listen carefully’ to both sides

As for timing, the senator said, “our priority this week must be to ensure safety in Washington, D.C.”

Juneau City Hall. The City and Borough of Juneau has distributed nearly $5 million in household and individual assistance grants since October. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
All housing and most personal assistance grants processed

About $5 million in aid is flowing to households and individuals in Juneau.

A child plays at Capital School Park. The park is in line for a remodel that will fix the crumbling retaining wall, visible in the background. (Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire)
A new life is in store for Capital School Park

Public input is helping craft a vision for the park’s voter-approved facelift.

Expected heavy snow and high winds Thursday evening prompted Alaska’s Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to issue a warning of increased avalanche hazard along Thane Road. (File photo)
Avalanche risk increasing along Thane Road

Be careful and plan for the possibility of an extended road closure.

White House, tribes joined to deliver Alaska Native vaccines

The initiative has treated Indigenous tribes as sovereign governments and set aside special vaccine shipments.

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
COVID at a glance for Friday, Jan. 8

The most recent state and local numbers.

Federal report says pandemic hit seafood industry hard

Catch brought to the docks fell 29% over the course of the first seven months of the year.

The Juneau Police Department and other law enforcement agencies say they are prepared for the possibility of political violence at the Capitol building on the day of the presidential inauguration. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
No known threats of violence, but police say they’re prepared

“The Juneau Police Department and our partners have not received any specific threats,” the agency said.

Most Read