The James Beard Foundation has announced the finalists for its coveted restaurant and chef awards, and the Washington area has plenty to be proud of.
On the national level, Aaron Silverman's prix fixe Pineapple and Pearls is among the finalists for Best New Restaurant. Amy Brandwein of Centrolina and Tom Cunanan of Bad Saint were nominated in the Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic category, along with Cindy Wolf of Charleston in Baltimore.
Mark Furstenberg of Bread Furst received a nod in the Outstanding Baker category, as he did last year. In the drinks arena, Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Diane Flynt of Foggy Ridge Cider are in the running for Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional. The Outstanding Restaurateur category featured one nominee with a location in the District: Stephen Starr (Le Diplomate).
More than two dozen local contenders were in the running as semifinalists, which were announced last month. Finalists for the restaurant and chef awards were chosen by judges, committee members and previous winners. The winners will be revealed May 1 in Chicago.
In 2016, the Washington area had two finalists for the Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic category: Peter Chang (Peter Chang) and Silverman. Wolf was also among the nominees. Silverman went on to take home the prize.
Nora Pouillon of Restaurant Nora is the recipient of the 2017 James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. Schultz's Crab House in Essex, Md., has been named one of this year's America's Classics, which honor beloved regional restaurants.
The Beard awards also include categories in media and books, and several nominees will look familiar to Washingtonians, as well. The Post's Food section is a finalist for Food Coverage in a General-Interest Publication. A feature on how to make bagels at home, by former Post staffer Alex Baldinger and this writer, is in the running in the Home Cooking category. Cookbook author Dorie Greenspan, who writes a regular column for The Post, received a nomination in the Baking and Dessert cookbook draw for her “Dorie's Cookies.” Ellie Krieger, another Post contributor, is a finalist in the Health book category for "You Have It Made: Delicious, Healthy, Do-Ahead Meals."
In the broadcast media awards, Washington cookbook author and television host Pati Jinich is a finalist in the Television Program, in Studio or Fixed Location category for her public-broadcast series, “Pati's Mexican Table.” “Barefoot in Washington,” starring cookbook author Ina Garten in her trip around the nation's capital (and featuring an appearance by Post deputy food editor Bonnie S. Benwick) is a finalist in the Special (on TV or Web) category.
Book and media winners will be announced April 25 in New York.
For a full list of the finalists, visit the foundation's website.
This post has been updated.