The 2016 James Beard Award Semifinalists Are Out

Here’s how DC did.

Kinship by former CityZen chef Eric Ziebold is one of the most exciting restaurant openings in 2016. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

The actual nominees for the James Beard Awards—the annual crowning of the year’s best chefs, wine and spirits pros, restaurateurs, and restaurants—will be announced on March 15. Today though, the Beard Foundation juiced some excitement by releasing its list of semi-finalists. Our region was decently represented (Kinship and the Dabney might earn a nod in the Best New Restaurant category; Ashok Bajaj is up—again—for Outstanding Restaurateur), though we struck out with zero nominees in the Outstanding Chef and Rising Star Chef categories. Herewith, the list of regional (maybe) nominees.

Best new restaurant:

The Dabney


Outstanding baker:

Mark Furstenberg, Bread Furst

Outstanding bar program:


Mockingbird Hill

Outstanding chef:


Outstanding pastry chef:

Aggie Chin, the Grill Room

Outstanding restaurant:



Outstanding restaurateur:

Ashok Bajaj, Knightsbridge Restaurant Group (The Bombay Club, the Oval Room, Rasika, 701, Bibiana, Ardeo & Bardeo, Nopa)

Stephen Starr (Le Diplomate and numerous restaurants in Philadelphia and New York)

Outstanding service:



Outstanding wine program:

The Red Hen

Charleston (Baltimore)

Outstanding wine, beer, or spirits professional

Rutger de Vink, RdV (Delaplane, VA)

Diane Flint, Foggy Ridge Cider (Dugspur, VA)

Rising star chef:


Best chef, Mid-Atlantic:

Victor Albisu, Del Campo

Erik Bruner-Yang, Maketto

Hari Cameron, a(MUSE) (Rehoboth Beach)

Peter Chang, Peter Chang

Jose De Brito, the Alley Light (Charlottesville)

Tarver King, the Restaurant at Patowmack Farm (Lovettsville, VA)

Cedric Maupillier, Convivial

Aaron Silverman, Rose’s Luxury

Cindy Wolf, Charleston (Baltimore)

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.