The esteemed James Beard Foundation today announced a bevy of semifinalists for its coveted chef and restaurant awards and the D.C.-area food scene is well represented. Eater DC has a comprehensive breakdown. Among the noms: Fiola and Little Serow each get a nod in the “Best New Restaurant” category. Palena‘s Frank Ruta is in the running for “Outstanding Chef” while the prolific Ashok Bajaj vies for “Outstanding Restaurateur.” And, a bunch of local guys are in the mix for “Best Chef Mid-Atlantic,” including Restaurant Eve‘s Cathal Armstrong, The Oval Room‘s Tony Conte, The Source‘s Scott Drewno, Komi‘s Johnny Monis, Obelisk‘s Peter Pastan, Rasika‘s Vikram Sunderam and Volt‘s Bryan Voltaggio. Area operator Neighborhood Restaurant Group also gets some love, with Birch & Barley pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac and ChurchKey beer director Greg Engert each recognized for their bready and boozy contributions, respectively. One new category this year, “Outstanding Bar Program,” also features some local talent, with Derek Brown‘s Columbia Room and Todd Thrasher‘s PX earning a place among the acclaimed. Congrats to all the semifinalists! See the full list here.
Image courtesy of the James Beard Foundation