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Baltimore chef Cindy Wolf and restaurant Clavel Mezcaleria are James Beard Award semifinalists again

Clavel, owned by Lane Harlan, pictured, is a semifinalist for a James Beard Award in the Best Bar Program category.
Clavel, owned by Lane Harlan, pictured, is a semifinalist for a James Beard Award in the Best Bar Program category.(Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun)

For the second year in a row, Baltimore’s Cindy Wolf, renowned chef of Charleston, and Clavel Mezcaleria, the Remington Mexican restaurant, have been named semifinalists for the James Beard Awards, considered the Oscars of the dining world.

The James Beard Foundation announced the list Thursday.

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It’s the 13th time Wolf has been named to the Best Chef: Mid Atlantic category. She has yet to win, and has jokingly called herself the “Susan Lucci of the Beard Awards.” Lucci was nominated 19 times for a Daytime Emmy before winning for her role on the soap opera “All My Children.”

It’s the second year in a row Clavel has been named to the Outstanding Bar Program category. The restaurant co-owned by Lane Harlan opened in 2015 and focuses its beverage program around mezcal, the smoky distilled spirit made with agave.

“It is an honor to be thought of and quite frankly I am very excited," Wolf said in a statement. "It is a great joy to get to cook every day with the amazing people in my kitchen.”

Harlan wrote in an email that the bar team was “thrilled” to be nominated again.

“We very much feel like the underdogs of the list and it makes us even more proud that our collective hard work and passion for agave spirits have brought us to acknowledgement on a national scale,” she said.

The team plans to make their fifth annual trip to Oaxaca next month, to visit the source of the mezcals that they sell.

This is the 30th year for the awards. Finalists will be announced March 25, with the awards gala scheduled for May 4 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

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