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Here Are the 2023 James Beard Awards Finalists for D.C.

Only one area restaurant and two chefs make the final cut

At 22-seat Causa, Lima native Carlos Delgado showcases seafood-centric menus twice a night.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

The James Beard Foundation today announced its finalist nominees for its 2023 awards, whittling down the list of previously announced semifinalists to a final crop of contenders across all categories.

Shaw’s Peruvian prix-fixe showpiece Causa, one of Eater’s Best New Restaurants of the year, snagged a seat for best new restaurant. Oyster Oyster’s Rob Rubba gets another shot at winning a James Beard Award, this time for outstanding chef (his vegetable tasting pad in Shaw was a 2022 finalist for best new restaurant). And Albi’s Michelin-rated chef Michael Rafidi was the sole area contender to clinch a finalist nod for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic. Winners will be announced at a glitzy Chicago gala, better known as the “Oscars” of food awards, on Monday, June 5.

D.C. got knocked out of the running today in multiple James Beard Foundation categories like emerging chef and outstanding restaurateur, restaurant, bar, pastry chef, and wine programs of the year.

Here’s the full list of local finalists looking to win big, alongside 2023 semifinalists that didn’t make the final cut.

Outstanding Restaurateur

  • Michael Reginbogin and Jason Berry, KNEAD Hospitality + Design (MI VIDA, Lil’ SUCCOTASH, and GATSBY), Washington, D.C.

Outstanding Chef

  • Rob Rubba, Oyster Oyster, Washington, D.C.

Outstanding Restaurant

  • RIS, Washington, D.C.

Emerging Chef

  • Elias Taddesse, Mélange, Washington, D.C.

Best New Restaurant

  • Bar Spero, Washington, D.C.
  • Causa, Washington, D.C.

Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker

  • Kareem Queeman, Mr. Bake, Riverdale, Maryland

Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program

  • Flight Wine Bar, Washington, D.C.

Outstanding Bar

  • Allegory, Washington, D.C.

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

  • David Deshaies, L’Ardente, Washington, D.C.
  • Rahman “Rock” Harper, Queen Mother’s Fried Chicken, Arlington, VA
  • Enrique Limardo, Seven Reasons, Washington, D.C.
  • Peter Prime, Bammy’s, Washington, D.C.
  • Michael Rafidi, Albi, Washington, D.C.
  • Ryan Ratino, Bresca, Washington, D.C.
  • Omar Rodriguez, Oyamel Cocina Mexicana, Washington, D.C.
  • Kevin Tien, Moon Rabbit, Washington, D.C.

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