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Wolf, Voltaggio and Gjerde among James Beard nominees

It took an hour to read all of the Beard Foundation nomimations. When it was over, there were no nominations for Baltimore area chefs restaurants.

Sam Caglione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery was nominated for Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional, an award that goes to "A winemaker, brewer, or spirits professional who has had a significant impact on the wine and spirits industry nationwide. Candidates must have been in the profession for at least five years."  

The James Beard Foundation announced the list of restaurant and chef semifinalists for the 2012 James Beard Foundation Awards. Cindy Wolf of Charleston, Bryan Voltaggio of Volt and Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen are among the 20 semifinalists for Best Chef Mid Atlantic, one of 10 regional categories. All three chefs have made the semi-finalists list before. Only Wolf has made it to the finalist round, twice, in 2006 and 2008.

Also, Charleston is among the James Beard Award semifinalists for the outstanding restaurant, a national distinction.

The five finalists in each category will be announced on March 19 and the winners will be announced on May 7.

The James Beard Foundation Awards were established in 1990. Marylanders have had rare success. The Monkton wine expert Robert Parker won for Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional in 1999 and the bygone restaurant Maison received a James Beard Foundation "America's Classics award" in 2002 for locally owned restaurants open at least 10 years.

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