WASHINGTON -- The James Beard Foundation's annual awards, often called the "Oscars of food," released the list of this year's semifinalists on Tuesday.
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:
Frank Ruta, Palena, Washington, D.C.
Outstanding Pastry Chef
Tiffany MacIsaac, Birch & Barley, Washington, D.C.
Marcel's, Washington, D.C.
Ashok Bajaj, Knightsbridge Restaurant Group, 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.
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