The James Beard Foundation showed Washington some love today, when it announced the semifinalists for its 2016 Restaurant and Chef Awards.
The operative word: semifinalists. The semifinalist list was culled from an open call that netted about 20,000 submissions. From those, the foundation's Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee (critics, writers and editors) created the semifinalist list.
The next step will see five semifinalists from each category advance as the nominees, after former Beard Award winners, committee members and other regional panelists vote. The nominees (the finalists, if you will) are set to be announced March 15. The ultimate winners will be honored May 2 in Chicago.
Here are the nominees from Washington and environs that are in the running:
Best New Restaurant
Mark Furstenberg, Bread Furst
Outstanding Bar Program
Outstanding Pastry Chef
Aggie Chin, the Grill Room
Ashok Bajaj, Knightsbridge Restaurant Group (Bombay Club, Oval Room, Rasika and more)
Outstanding Wine Program
Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional
Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Rutger de Vink, RdV Vineyards
Diane Flynt, Foggy Ridge Cider
Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
Victor Albisu, Del Campo
Erik Bruner-Yang, Maketto
Hari Cameron, a(MUSE.) (Rehoboth Beach, Del.)
Peter Chang, Peter Chang
Tarver King, Restaurant at Patowmack Farm
Cedric Maupillier, Convivial
Aaron Silverman, Rose's Luxury
Cindy Wolf, Charleston
For the complete list of semifinalists, head on over to the James Beard Foundation's site.