by AJ Dronkers, Associate Publisher & Digital Editor
Today the James Beard Foundation announced the restaurant and chef finalists for 2016 awards! Here is our quick breakdown of the DMV folks who are making this high profile list.
In the "Best New Restaurant Category" Shaw continues to build a reputation for foodie destination:
- The Dabney
Also side note that we are loving the SF nod to Liholiho -- we ate there last Fall and our collective minds were blown.
Mark Furstenberg of Bread Furst continues with his now inaugural nomination for "Outstanding Baker" hoping he takes the prize home this year!
Everyone's Christmas fascination with Mockingbird Hill only shed light on the incredible bar behind local mixologist extraordinaire, Derek Brown. The Shaw bar, which we featured on our Drinks Cover last year, is nominated for "Outstanding Bar Program". Barmini, by José Andrés, Think Food Group also nominated.
DC is sadly snubbed again in the overall category of "Outstanding Chef". Last year there was some good debate/conversation about the lack of a "DC food culture" that was covered by The Washingtonian food critic Todd Kilman here.
Finalist for "Outstanding Pastry Chef" goes to Aggie Chin of the Grill Room.
DC has two nods in the "Outstanding Restaurant" category:
- Jaleo by José Andrés
Then Rasika shows up again under "Outstanding Restaurateur" Ashok Bajaj, who leads the Knightsbridge Restaurant Group, operating Rasika, Bombay Club, The Oval Room etc...
Another local heavyweight Marcel's by Robert Wiedmaier grabs a nomination under "Outstanding Service" as well as Komi.
Super proud to see The Red Hen in Bloomingdale nominated for "Outstanding Wine Program" -- Sebastian Zutant, resident sommelier, helped us with our first issue story on the future of Virgina wine industry.
Speaking of our future of Virginia wine story, Rutger de Vink, of RdV, is nominated for "Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Program" out of Delaplane, VA. Diane Flynt, Foggy Ridge Cider, also a semifinalist from Dugspur, VA.
Multiple nominations under "Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic"
- Victor Albisu of Del Campo & Taco Bamba
- Erik Bruner-Yang of Toki Underground & Maketto (last year he was nominated under Rising Star Chef)
- Peter Change of Arlington, VA
- Tarver King, The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm
- Cedric Maupillier of newly opened Convivial
- Aaron Silverman, Rose's Luxury
Also a shout out to Chef Hari Cameron who is nominated under the same category for his amazing restaurant a(MUSE.) in Rehoboth Beach, DE. We profiled his work in last year's Summer travel piece "A Locavore's Fall Escape to the Beach".