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JBF Announces 2012 Restaurant and Chef Semifinalists

This morning the James Beard Foundation announced the semifinalists in the 2012 Restaurant and Chef Awards — this being the "long list" before the list is winnowed down to the official finalists on March 19. Our local chefs and restaurants fared quite well this year, with representation in every category except for Rising Star Chef of the Year. Here now a full list of our local contenders:

Best New Restaurant: Fiola, Little Serow
Outstanding Bar Program: Columbia Room, PX
Outstanding Chef: Frank Ruta (Palena)
Outstanding Pastry Chef: Tiffany MacIsaac (Birch & Barley)
Outstanding Restaurant: Marcel's
Outstanding Restaurateur: Ashok Bajaj (Knightsbridge Restaurant Group)
Outstanding Service: Restaurant Eve
Outstanding Wine Program: CityZen, Restaurant Eve
Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional: Greg Engert (Neighborhood Restaurant Group)
Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic: Cathal Armstrong (Restaurant Eve), Tony Conte (The Oval Room), Scott Drewno (The Source), Johnny Monis (Komi), Peter Pastan (Obelisk), Vikram Sunderam (Rasika), Bryan Voltaggio (Volt)

Congrats to all — and, noted, Birch & Barley's Tiffany MacIsaac is already thrilled with her semifinalist status in the Outstanding Pastry Chef category.

· JBF Announces 2012 Restaurant and Chef Semifinalists [Eater National]