If you love to eat and drink, Michigan is the perfect place to live. Not only are we the home of Cereal City and Beer City. We've perfected the Paczki. There's no fudge as good as the fudge from Mackinac Island, and the blueberries from South Haven are sweeter.

Michigan is also home to several award winning restaurants. And right now, 3 Michigan restaurants are in the running for one of the most prestigious awards in the industry, the James Beard Award.

According to their mission statement, the James Beard Foundation "celebrates and supports the people behind America’s food culture, while pushing for new standards in the restaurant industry to create a future where all have the opportunity to thrive. Established over 30 years ago, the Foundation has highlighted the centrality of food culture in our daily lives and is committed to supporting a resilient and flourishing industry that honors its diverse communities."

To win one of their awards is one of the highest honors in the restaurant industry. Several locations in Michigan have previously won, so it's no surprise to see Michigan making the list again this year. But if you'd like to try the best of the best, here are the three nominees and what they're up for:

Best New Restaurant


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BARDA in Detroit

"BARDA Detroit is the first and only authentic Argentinian-inspired Restaurant in Detroit. Using ancestral methods of Patagonian cooking, BARDA's open fire is the very soul of the restaurant's dining experience. BARDA specializes in simple yet bold dishes, combining techniques and ingredients that reach far across vast geographical terrains."

Outstanding Pastry Chef


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Warda Bouguettaya, from Warda Pâtisserie

This previous titleholder of the Best Chef award in Detroit is no stranger to award winning creations. People travel from all over Michigan to try her delicacies.

Best Chef: Great Lakes Region (IL, IN, MI, OH)


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Omar Anani from Saffron De Twah in Detroit

Omar heads the kitchen at Saffron De Twah which is a Moroccan bistro serving amazing takes on dishes that will leave your pallet feeling like you've traveled across the world instead of across the state.

Good luck to our finalists as they attempt to make Michigan proud with their culinary contributions. Have you ever eaten at any of these restaurants? Let me know about it in the comments.

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