James Beard Foundation gives out some of the most prestigious prizes for the restaurant industry. It's the Grammys or the Oscars of dining.
They have announced this year's semi-finalists, which include nominees from all over the globe, and many of them are from right here in Penn Quarter.
Kushi Izakaya & Sushi, in nearby Mount Vernon Triangle (in CityVista), is a semi-finalist for Best New Restaurant.
Jose Andres is a semi-finalist for Outstanding Chef. The nomination lists him as the Chef at Minibar--but he is the chef behind many Penn Quarter restaurants such as Jaleo, Cafe Atlantico, Oyamel, and Zaytinya.
Ashok Bajaj, has been nominated in the Outstanding Restaurateur category. He is the man behind a number of Penn Quarter favorites including 701, Bibiana, and Rasika, as well as other D.C. restaurants.
Speaking of Bibiana, chef Nicholas Stefanelli picked up a nomination for Rising Star Chef of the Year. And Rasika chef Vikram Sunderam, received a regional nomination for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The full list of semi-finalists (from all over) is available here.