If you haven’t heard of the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards, it’s one of the most influential and prestigious awards that a Chef, Restaurateur, or Restaurant can obtain in any given year. Unlike the Michelin Guide, the James Beard Awards are not a rating system for restaurants or meant to instruct consumers on how to find their next great meal, instead, the James Beard Awards are focused solely on U.S. dining and celebrate a singular winner in each of their categories.
To put it simply, you can think of the James Beard Awards as the Academy Awards for food in the United States, and in case you still need a little clarity, the main character of the popular cooking-related show “The Bear“, star chef “Carmen Berzatto” was an apparent winner of James Beard Award.
17 D.C. area Chefs and Restaurants that are 2024 James Beard Award Semifinalists
Below are all 17 semi-finalists from the D.C. food scene that have been announced as semifinalists for a James Beard Award along with the category they are competing in. It’s important to consider that as semi-finalists, they are on the shortlist from which only a select few from each category will be nominated as finalists. The nominees for the finalists in each category will be announced on Wednesday, April 9th, and the winners of each James Beard Award category will be announced during the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards Ceremony on Monday, June 10th.
- Ashok Bajaj, Knightsbridge Restaurant Group (Rasika, Annabelle, Sababa, and others)
- Hollis Wells Silverman, Eastern Point Collective (The Duck & The Peach, La Collina, The Wells, and others)
- Michael Rafidi, Albi
- Masako Morishita, Perry’s
Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker
- Susan Bae, Moon Rabbit