Baltimore-based chef Cindy Wolf has been a finalist eight times and a semifinalist 12 times for a James Beard Award. She has never won.
Baltimore-based chef Cindy Wolf has been a finalist eight times and a semifinalist 12 times for a James Beard Award. She has never won. (Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun)

Not this time.

Cindy Wolf, the Baltimore chef and owner of Charleston, was again passed over for a James Beard Award as Tom Cunanan of Washington’s Bad Saint won the award for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic region.

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She has been a finalist eight times and has been a semifinalist 12 times.

The announcement came May 6 during the James Beard Foundation’s annual gala at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The organization hands out awards for outstanding service, wine, pastry chefs and restaurants among other categories. It’s considered one of the top honors in the culinary world.

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Other nominees included Washington-based chef Amy Brandwein of Centrolina, as well as Philadelphia chefs Rich Landau at Vedge and Cristina Martinez of South Philly Barbacoa.

Wolf has jokingly called herself the Susan Lucci of the Beard Awards, a reference to the actor who was nominated for a Daytime Emmy award 19 times before winning.

Wolf’s Foreman Wolf restaurant group owns Petit Louis Bistro and Bar Vasquez.

In an email, Wolf’s spokeswoman Sue-Jean Chun wrote “8th’s times is not the charm.”

“Maybe next year,” she wrote.

Baltimore has taken home just one James Beard Award: Spike Gjerde, the chef of such restaurants as Woodberry Kitchen and Parts & Labor, won Best Chef: Mid Atlantic in 2015.

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