On top of the RAMMY Awards virtual announcement Monday, DC’s restaurant industry has another reason to pause and celebrate: five chefs were recognized on a national scale with finalist nominations for 2020 James Beard Awards.
The list of semifinalists was released in February, and the finalists were scheduled to be announced at a ceremony on March 25 in Philadelphia. That event was postponed, as the Beard Foundation and the entire industry focused on changing business models and supporting struggling workers and restaurants.
After consulting with chefs, restaurateurs and industry professionals nationwide, the foundation decided to move forward with the awards, hoping to “offer a glimmer of hope to an industry looking for light in a very dark time.”
The virtual ceremony was livestreamed Monday via Twitter.
Amy Brandwein of Centrolina and Jon Sybert of Tail Up Goat are finalists for Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic. Not far from the District, Cindy Wolf of Charleston in Baltimore is also a finalist. The award recognizes “chefs who set high culinary standards and also demonstrate integrity and admirable leadership skills in their respective regions. A nominee may be from any kind of dining establishment but must have been working as a chef for at least five years, with the three most recent years spent in the region.”
Paola Velez of Kith/Kin is a finalist for Rising Star Chef of the Year, recognizing “a chef age 30 or younger who displays exceptional talent, character, and leadership ability, and who is likely to make a significant impact in years to come.”
José Andrés’ Jaleo is a finalist for Outstanding Restaurant, recognizing “a restaurant that demonstrates consistent excellence in food, atmosphere, service, and operations. Must have been in business 10 or more consecutive years.”
Kwame Onwuachi’s book, “Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir” is nominated in the writing category of the James Beard Foundation Book Awards. Book Award winners will be announced May 27th via press release.
Restaurant & Chef Award winners will be announced on September 25 from Chicago, broadcast live via Twitter. More information to come.
See the full list of finalists nationwide here.
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