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DC-Area Chefs, Restaurants Among Semifinalists for James Beard Awards

NBC Washington

The semifinalist list is out for this year's prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards, and the D.C.-area restaurant scene is well represented in almost all categories.

Some of the semifinalists in national categories include Angel Barreto of Korean restaurant Anju, for Best Emerging Chef, and Oyster Oyster for Best New Restaurant.

"I think like any artist or anyone who does anything creative, you begin to learn your voice and what makes sense to you on a plate, and to have an identity," Barreto recently told NBC Washington.

Angel Barreto is the executive chef at the Korean cuisine restaurant, Anju. Barreto has won several awards from Food & Wine best new chef to recently being a finalist for the emerging chef award from the James Beard Foundation. NBC4's Eun Yang talks to Barreto about his culinary roots and journey.

The semifinalists in the Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic category include five from D.C. and one from Arlington.

Here are all the D.C.-area semifinalists:

Outstanding Restaurateur 

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

Outstanding Restaurant 

  • Métier — Washington, D.C.

Emerging Chef

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

Best New Restaurant

  • 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 

  • Angel Barreto, Anju — Washington, D.C.
  • Amy Brandwein, Centrolina — Washington, D.C.
  • Matt Hill, Ruthie’s All-Day — Arlington, Virginia
  • Peter Prime, Cane — Washington, D.C.
  • Michael Rafidi, Albi — Washington, D.C.
  • Yuan Tang, Rooster & Owl — Washington, D.C.

The winners will be announced in June.

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You can see the full list of semifinalists here.

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