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Here Are the 2024 James Beard Awards Restaurant and Chef Semifinalists for D.C.

Moon Rabbit, Bronze, and Service Bar make the preliminary cut

James Beard Foundation
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 semifinalist nominees for 2024, officially kicking off restaurant awards season across the country.

Widely known as the “Oscars” of the food world, the annual honors continue to address the findings of an extensive 2021 audit to confront the longstanding biases baked into the awards process. A newer Emerging Chef category doesn’t have an age cutoff. Locally, that semifinalist nod goes to Masako Morishita of Adams Morgan’s Japanese showpiece Perry’s (who was also Eater DC’s 2023 Chef of the Year).

The semifinalist list for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic shows love for representatives from Eater 38 spots Anju, Bronze, and Rooster & Owl, among others. Chef Kevin Tien, who just reopened his modern Vietnamese restaurant Moon Rabbit in Penn Quarter, appears in the same category. His colleague Susan Bae is also up for Outstanding Pastry Chef. Meanwhile, Albi chef Michael Rafidi is the sole local contender for Outstanding Chef — a huge nationwide accolade that went to Oyster Oyster chef Rob Rubba last year. D.C.’s essential cocktail haunt Service Bar, co-owned by partners at prix-fixe Peruvian place Causa (a 2023 finalist for Best New Restaurant), made the first cut for Outstanding Bar.

D.C. was picked as this year’s U.S. city to host the finalist announcements. Today’s nationwide semifinalist list will be whittled down on Wednesday, April 3 during a ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria Washington DC (Hilton is a headlining sponsor of this year’s awards). Winners will unveiled during a glitzy gala in Chicago on Monday, June 10.

Here’s the full list of locals looking to win big:

Outstanding Restaurateur

  • Ashok Bajaj, Knightsbridge Restaurant Group (Rasika, Annabelle, Sababa, and others), D.C.
  • Hollis Wells Silverman, Eastern Point Collective (The Duck & The Peach, La Collina, The Wells and others), D.C.

Outstanding Chef

  • Michael Rafidi, Albi, D.C.

Outstanding Restaurant

  • 2941, Falls Church, Virginia
  • Pineapple & Pearls, D.C.

Emerging Chef

  • Masako Morishita, Perry’s, D.C.

Outstanding Bakery

  • Pluma by Bluebird Bakery, D.C.

Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker

  • Susan Bae, Moon Rabbit, D.C.

Outstanding Hospitality

  • Charleston, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Fiola, D.C.

Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program

  • Tail Up Goat, D.C.

Outstanding Bar

  • Clavel Mezcaleria, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Service Bar, D.C.

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

  • Angel Barreto, Anju, D.C.
  • Najmieh Batmanglij and Christopher Morgan, Joon, Vienna, Virginia
  • Amy Brandwein, Centrolina, D.C.
  • Tony Conte, Inferno Pizzeria Napoletana, Darnestown, Maryland
  • Keem Hughley, Bronze, D.C.
  • Esther Lee, Obelisk, D.C.
  • Travis Milton, Hickory at Nicewonder Farm and Vineyards, Bristol, Virginia
  • Harley Peet, Bas Rouge, Easton, Maryland
  • Yuan Tang, Rooster & Owl, D.C.
  • Kevin Tien, Moon Rabbit, D.C.
  • David Zamudio, Alma Cocina Latina, Baltimore, Maryland

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