Once again, D.C. restaurants have a strong presence on the James Beard Award semifinalist list. But it's still too early to say if any will take home the prestigious prize: The Beard Foundation likes to winnow down its large and comprehensive list of excellent restaurants around the country to a smaller list of finalists (announced March 24), and then winners, which will be presented in New York on May 4.


WASHINGTON, DC-May 21: Fiola Mare restaurant on the Georgetown Waterfront in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Suchman/For the Washington Post)

If you look back at last year's semifinalists, much of what follows are the same people and restaurants being nominated in the same categories. Marjorie Meek-Bradley has nabbed her second rising star chef nomination, and Jaleo is once again on the outstanding restaurant list. Both Komi and Marcel's snagged repeat nominations for their service, and Ashok Bajaj was recognized again as an outstanding restaurateur. All four of the best chef nominees are on the list for the second time in a row.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 15: Restauranteur Mark Furstenberg in his latest establishment, Bread Furst, on January, 15, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post) WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 15: Restauranteur Mark Furstenberg in his latest establishment, Bread Furst, on January, 15, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

But there are some newcomers, too -- most notably, baker Mark Furstenberg of Bread Furst in Northwest. Toki Underground's Erik Bruner-Yang has also been recognized as a rising star, and the elegant Fiola Mare is in the running for best new restaurant in the country. Check out the nominees below.

Best New Restaurant:
Fiola Mare

Outstanding Baker:
Mark Furstenberg, Bread Furst

Outstanding Bar Program:
Barmini

Outstanding Chef:
Johnny Monis, Komi
Fabio Trabocchi, Fiola

Outstanding Pastry Chef:
Caitlin Dysart, 2941

Outstanding restaurant: 
Vidalia
Jaleo

Outstanding Restaurateur:
Ashok Bajaj, Knightsbridge Restaurant Group

Outstanding Service: 
Komi
Marcel's

Outstanding Wine, beer or Spirits Professional:
Derek Brown (Mockingbird Hill, Columbia Room, and more)

Rising Star of the Year: 
Marjorie Meek-Bradley, Ripple
Erik Bruner-Yang, Toki Underground

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic:
Anthony Chittum, Iron Gate
Spike Gjerde, Woodberry Kitchen
Tarver King, The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm
Cedric Maupillier, Mintwood Place