Cindy Wolf is Baltimore's lone chef nominated for a 2017 James Beard Award

Cindy Wolf was the only chef from Baltimore to make the short list of nominees for the James Beard Foundation's 2017 awards.

The foundation announced its finalists for this year's James Beard Awards — the Oscars of the food world — from Los Angeles on Wednesday.


Wolf, who has frequently been nominated for best chef: Mid-Atlantic, again became a finalist in the category. She was named alongside two Philadelphia chefs, Rich Landau of Vedge and Greg Vernick of Vernick Food & Drink; and Washington, D.C., chefs Amy Brandwein of Centrolina and Tom Cunanan of Bad Saint.

Wolf is a partner in Foreman Wolf Restaurant Group, which owns fine dining establishments including Bar Vasquez, Charleston, Cinghiale, Johnny's and Petit Louis Bistro.

Woodberry Kitchen chef and owner Spike Gjerde holds Baltimore's only James Beard Award for best chef: Mid-Atlantic, which he won two years ago.

Two Baltimore restaurants that were semifinalists in other James Beard Award categories did not make the cut of nominees this year. Neither Charleston, Wolf's restaurant and a semifinalist for outstanding wine program category, nor Woodberry Kitchen, a semifinalist for outstanding service, were nominated.

Finalists for an outstanding wine program award included Benu in San Francisco; Canlis in Seattle; Emeril's New Orleans; FIG in Charleston, S.C.; and Miller Union in Atlanta.

In the outstanding service category, the nominees were Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, N.Y.; Galatoire's Restaurant in New Orleans; Marea in New York City; Terra in St. Helena, Calif.; and Zahav in Philadelphia.

Andrew Carmellini, the New York chef opening restaurants at the Sagamore Pendry Baltimore hotel and Sagamore Spirit distillery, was also a semifinalist in the Outstanding Chef category. He has previously won three James Beard Awards, but he did not secure a nomination this year.

The foundation also announced finalists for its media awards Wednesday. Baltimore-based chef and author Allison Robicelli was nominated among the personal essay finalists for her Food52 piece, "In Sickness, in Health, in White Castle."*

Each category was narrowed down from 20 semifinalists to five.

The winners of the chef and restaurant awards will be named May 1 at the James Beard Foundation Awards Gala at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. And the media award winners will be unveiled April 25 in New York.

*This article was updated to include Robicelli's nomination.