The James Beard Foundation just announced its long-list of semifinalists for the James Beard Awards—some of the most coveted accolades in the restaurant industry. The finalists will be announced on Wednesday, March 15.
Like last year, the semifinalists include a strong number of Washington names. Some we could predict, such as Pineapple and Pearls for Best New Restaurant. Others, like Sweet Home Café in the same category, come as a surprise. A number of the nominations are repeats from years before, including Ashok Bajaj for Outstanding Restaurateur. For others, its their first time in the running. Young talent Kevin Tien of Petworth’s Himitsu received a nom for Rising Star Chef of the Year, while Thip Khao chef Seng Luangrath is up for Best Chef: Mid Atlantic.
A full list of semifinalists is available at the James Beard Foundation.
Best New Restaurant
Sweet Home Café at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, DC
Mark Furstenberg, Bread Furst, DC
Outstanding Bar Program
Columbia Room, DC
Fabio Trabocchi, Fiola, DC
Eric Ziebold, Kinship, DC
Outstanding Pastry Chef
Outstanding Wine Program
Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional
Diane Flynt, Foggy Ridge Cider, Dugspur, VA
Jim Law, Linden Vineyards, Linden, VA
Rising Star Chef of the Year
*A chef age 30 or younger who displays an impressive talent and who is likely to make a significant impact on the industry in years to come.
Kevin Tien, Himitsu, DC
Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)
Amy Brandwein, Centrolina, DC
Tom Cunanan, Bad Saint, DC
Mike Friedman, All-Purpose Pizzeria, DC
Tarver King, The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm, Lovettsville, VA
Seng Luangrath, Thip Khao, DC
Cedric Maupillier, Convivial, DC
Nobu Yamazaki, Sushi Taro, DC