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The Reality of the Beard Award Noms

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Charles Joly, Stephanie Izard, Dale Levitski were named semifinalists for the 2011 James Beard Awards.

Here's the entire list of the 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists, which was released Thursday morning, and you'll be happy to know that Chicago represented.

Three of Chicago's nominees are pretty much celebrities in their own right:

The Drawing Room's Charles Joly, who's up for Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional, was recently crowned America's Best Bartender on the third season of LXTV's On The Rocks.

Stephanie Izard (Girl & The Goat), a contender in the Best New Restaurant Category, is still the only female winner of Bravo's award-winning culinary competition Top Chef.

And Dale Levitski (Sprout), who competed on the third season of Top Chef as well as Top Chef All-Stars, is up for Best Chef: Great Lakes.

We wish them and their competitors well, and here's hoping they make it on the final ballot.

The final nominees will be announced at the Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland on March 21 and simultaneously live via the Foundation's Twitter page, @beardfoundation.