Pittsburgh chefs nominated for James Beard Foundation Awards

Four New Jersey chefs and one NJ restaurant have been named semifinalists for what many consider to be the Oscars of the food world, the James Beard Awards. Redzikowksi and Seidel were also nominated in this category previous year, along with Work & Class chef/partner Dana Rodriguez.

Those awards start with nominations from the general public, then go on a shorter list selected by a professional panel.

This list will be narrowed down to a much shorter selection of award finalists that will be announced on Wednesday, March 15, in Los Angeles.

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Both restaurants are among the semifinalists announced today by the New York-based James Beard Foundation. Winners of the 2017 James Beard Media Awards, honoring the nation's top cookbook authors, culinary broadcast producers and hosts, and food journalists, will be announced on April 25. Three of the semifinalists for Best Chef Midwest are from Milwaukee.

North Carolina is also well-represented in the list of semi-finalists for best chef in the southeast. "It means a lot for that restaurant and who we are and what we've been doing for the last 40-plus years".

More than 24,000 entries were received by the Foundation for its 21 categories in the 2017 awards.

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No Cincinnati chef has ever won the Great Lakes category.

With the exception of Essex staple Schultz's Crab House, which clinched one of the foundation's America's Classics awards earlier this year, the two fine-dining spots were the only Maryland restaurants to make the cut for 2017.

Finalists for this year's James Beard Awards will be announced March 15th, while winners will be made public on May 1 in NY.

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Sagami in Collingswood was named for "Outstanding Restaurant"; Elizabeth Degener of Enfin Farms in Cape May "Outsanding Baker"; and for "Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic" Dan Richer of Razza Pizza Artigianale in Jersey City, Scott Anderson of Elements in Princeton, and Joey Baldino of Zeppoli in Collingswood.