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James Beard Awards Name D.C.-Area Chefs And Restaurants As Semifinalists

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WASHINGTON -- The James Beard Foundation's annual awards, often called the "Oscars of food," released the list of this year's semifinalists on Tuesday.

Following a trend a few years running, D.C.-area food industry got their due with a slew of regional and national nominations.

Restaurant Eve got the most love, with three nods for Best Chef in the mid-Atlantic (executive chef and owner Cathal Armstrong), and national recognition for Outstanding Service and Outstanding Wine Program.

So maybe this will be Armstrong's big year? In 2011, he was a finalist in the Best Chef category for the mid-Atlantic region, but lost out to Michael Solomonov of Zahav in Philadelphia. Armstrong's Alexandria speakeasy, PX, was also honored in the Outstanding Bar Program category.

Congratulations all around to all the semifinalists! Here are this year's lucky ones:

Best New Restaurant
Fiola, Washington, D.C.
Little Serow, Washington, D.C.

Outstanding Bar Program
The Columbia Room, Washington, D.C.
PX, Alexandria, Va.

Outstanding Chef
Frank Ruta, Palena, Washington, D.C.

Outstanding Pastry Chef
Tiffany MacIsaac, Birch & Barley, Washington, D.C.

Outstanding Restaurant
Marcel's, Washington, D.C.

Outstanding Restaurateur
Ashok Bajaj, Knightsbridge Restaurant Group, Washington, D.C.

Outstanding Service
Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, Va.

Outstanding Wine Program
CityZen at Mandarin Oriental, Washington, D.C.
Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, Va.

Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional
Greg Engert, Neighborhood Restaurant Group, Alexandria, Va.

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
Cathal Armstrong, Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, Va.
Tony Conte, The Oval Room, Washington, D.C.
Scott Drewno, The Source, Washington, D.C.
Johnny Monis, Komi, Washington, D.C.
Peter Pastan, Obelisk, Washington, D.C.
Vikram Sunderam, Rasika, Washington, D.C.
Bryan Voltaggio, Volt, Frederick, Md.

Check out the full list of nominations here.