Photo of Amy Brandwein by Laura Hayes
Photo of Amy Brandwein by Laura Hayes

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Update (3/15): Chef Amy Brandwein, Chef Tom Cunanan, Chef Mark Furstenberg, and Pineapple & Pearls are all finalists. 

Given the banner year D.C. is having when it comes to national recognition, it should come as no surprise that our region has 21 James Beard Award semifinalists. That said, 2016 wasn’t a snooze either with 19 semifinalists, including many that appear on this year’s list.

The final nominees will be announced on March 15, and winners will be announced on April 25. 

The semifinalists are as follows: 

Best New Restaurant:

Pineapple and Pearls

Sweet Home Café at the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Outstanding Baker:

Mark Furstenberg of Bread Furst

Outstanding Bar Program:

Columbia Room

Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional:

Jim Law of Linden Vineyards in Linden, VA

Outstanding Chef:

Fabio Trabocchi of Fiola

Eric Ziebold of Kinship

Outstanding Restaurant:



Outstanding Restaurateur:

Ashok Bajaj of Knightsbridge Restaurant Group, Washington, D.C. (The Bombay Club, Rasika, The Oval Room, and others)

Outstanding Service:


Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier

Outstanding Wine Program:


Rising Star Chef of the Year:

Kevin Tien of Himitsu

Best Chef Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA):

Amy Brandwein of Centrolina

Tom Cunanan of Bad Saint

Mike Friedman of All-Purpose Pizzeria

Tarver King of The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm in Lovettsville, VA

Seng Luangrath of Thip Khao

Cedric Maupillier of Convivial

Nobu Yamazaki of Sushi Taro