Lincoln chef nominated for a James Beard Award

She is the first chef in Lincoln history to ever be nominated for this prestigious award

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – For the first time ever, a chef in Lincoln was nominated for a James Beard Award.

Rachel McGill, 33, is the executive chef at DISH in downtown Lincoln on the corner of 11th and O streets.

McGill, a self-taught chef, started in the restaurant industry when she was 21 years-old flipping burgers and made her way up to executive chef and co-owner of DISH a few years later.

DISH serves contemporary American cuisine and they source their food, when they can, from local farmers and ranchers.  The menu, which comes from McGill’s creative mind, changes routinely to keep it new and fresh.

McGill was recently named a semi-finalist for the James Beard Award for Best Midwestern Chef.

“It’s validating, honestly. You know, we’ve put in a lot of work.  I work 80-90 hours a week every week, and it’s nice to feel like it’s all worth it, to feel like there is a pay-off at the end,” said McGill.

When she found out she was nominated and a semi-finalist, she says she was in shock and disbelief.

For those who don’t know what a James Beard Award is, it’s basically an Academy Award, but for food and is one of the highest honors a chef can receive.

The finalists will be announced on March 16th and if she is selected as a finalist, she’ll be invited to a banquet in June where the winners will be announced.

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