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Here Are the 2022 James Beard Awards Restaurant and Chef Finalists for D.C.

Shaw’s Oyster Oyster is up for best new restaurant and Anju’s chef Angel Barreto advances in two categories

A wooden plate of mushrooms
Shaw’s plant-packed tasting spot Oyster Oyster is a James Beard Award finalist for best new restaurant.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The James Beard Foundation today announced its finalist nominees for its 2022 awards, whittling down the list of previously announced semifinalists to a final crop of contenders across all categories.

Oyster Oyster, Shaw’s sustainability-preaching, mushroom- and mollusk-loving tasting room, clinched a spot for the best new restaurant in the U.S. The 35-seat, Eater 38 restaurant led by Hazel alum Rob Rubba and co-owner Max Kuller will compete with 10 other James Beard Award finalists scattered coast to coast. Winners will be announced at a Chicago gala on Monday, June 13 — marking the first time the “Oscars” of food awards has been held since 2019.

Peter Chang, who runs a sprawling empire of Sichuan eateries in Maryland and Virginia, secured a finalist nod for outstanding chef. D.C.’s Korean standout Anju is up for not one, but two, awards this year. Its chef Angel Barreto snagged a seat in the newly renamed emerging chef of the year category (unlike previous years’ rising star chef award, the nominees were not subjected to an age restriction).

Barreto is also in the running for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic. He’s joined by Amy Brandwein, now a five-time finalist in the category, who oversees the pasta program and wood-burning oven at fellow Eater 38 spot Centrolina in CityCenter.

Meanwhile, Barmini by José Andrés is also in for outstanding bar program and Maydan for outstanding wine program. Both Michelin-starred spots were the sole D.C. semifinalists in each JBA category.

D.C. was snubbed from the start in both the outstanding baker and hospitality categories this year. Here’s the full list of local finalists, alongside 2022 semifinalists that didn’t make the final cut today.

Outstanding Restaurateur

  • Ashok Bajaj, Knightsbridge Restaurant Group (Rasika, Bindaas, Annabelle, and others), Washington, D.C.

Outstanding Chef

  • Peter Chang, Peter Chang, Virginia and Maryland
  • Cindy Wolf, Charleston, Baltimore

Outstanding Restaurant

  • Métier, Washington, D.C.

Emerging Chef

  • Angel Barreto, Anju, Washington, D.C.

Best New Restaurant

  • NiHao, Baltimore
  • Oyster Oyster, Washington, D.C.

Outstanding Pastry Chef

  • Anne Specker, Kinship, Washington, D.C.

Outstanding Wine Program

  • Maydan, Washington, D.C.

Outstanding Bar Program

  • barmini by José Andrés, Washington, D.C.

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (DC, DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)

  • Angel Barreto, Anju, Washington, D.C.
  • Amy Brandwein, Centrolina, Washington, D.C.
  • Matt Hill, Ruthie’s All-Day, Arlington, Virginia
  • Carlos Raba, Clavel Mezcaleria, Baltimore
  • Michael Rafidi, Albi, Washington, D.C.
  • Yuan Tang, Rooster & Owl, Washington, D.C.

Some new categories this year are meant to address the findings of an extensive 2021 audit to confront the longstanding biases baked into the awards process. A week after announcing its semifinalist nominations in February, the James Beard Foundation disqualified chef Peter Prime for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic since he had already departed his hit H Street Trinidadian restaurant Cane.

Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Foundation Awards.

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