The James Beard Foundation today announced the finalists for its 2020 awards, putting four D.C. chefs — and one restaurant — a step closer to winning the coveted honor.
Amy Brandwein, the proprietress who oversees the pasta program and wood-burning oven at Centrolina in CityCenter, is nominated for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic for the fourth year in a row. Jon Sybert, who has a way with toast at Mediterranean venue Tail Up Goat, is also nominated from D.C.
Nearby in Baltimore, chef Cindy Wolf at Charleston is a finalist for the seventh year in a row, and ninth time overall. The other three chefs in the category are from Philadelphia. Tom Cunanan, the chef at modern Filipino restaurant Bad Saint, edged out Brandwein and Wolf for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic last year.
Kith/Kin, the Afro-Caribbean restaurant on the Southwest Waterfront, could claim back-to-back Rising Star Chef of the Year winners. Pastry chef Paola Velez is nominated this year, and executive chef Kwame Onwuachi won it last year.
Onwuachi is nominated in the media awards this year as a finalist in the Writing category for his memoir, Notes From a Young Black Chef. The media awards winners will be announced in late May.
Jaleo, José Andrés’s tapas spot, was nominated for Outstanding Restaurant for the second time in as many years.
Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Foundation Awards.