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Baltimore chef Cindy Wolf (again) a James Beard Award finalist

Chef Cindy Wolf has been named a James Beard Award finalist for the Best Chef: Mid Atlantic category. This is her 13th time being up for the prestigious food industry award.
Chef Cindy Wolf has been named a James Beard Award finalist for the Best Chef: Mid Atlantic category. This is her 13th time being up for the prestigious food industry award. (Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun)

Her flagship restaurant may be closed by the pandemic, but Baltimore chef Cindy Wolf of “Charleston” has been named a finalist for the James Beard Foundation awards.

In a statement sent by her publicist, Wolf, who is named for the category of best chef in the Mid-Atlantic region, expressed her pride in her staff at the elevated Southern style restaurant she has helmed in Harbor East since 1997.

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“We are one big work family with one goal in mind: do the very best we can for our guests and keep moving forward!”

Charleston and other Maryland restaurants were closed by executive order last month amid efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Many establishments remain open for carryout service.

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It’s the 9th finalist nomination for Wolf, who has been a semi-finalist 13 times but has yet to win. She has joked that she is the “Susan Lucci of the Beard Awards.” Lucci was nominated 19 times for a Daytime Emmy before picking up a statuette.

Spike Gjerde took home Baltimore’s only James Beard Award in 2015 for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic.

The James Beard Foundation’s 30th awards gala, considered the Oscars of the food world, was originally scheduled to take place this week in Chicago. Now, restaurant and chef winners are scheduled to be announced September 25.

Since the pandemic began, the Foundation has focused its efforts on supporting the beleaguered restaurant industry through $4 million in donations to locally owned businesses across the country, according to its website.

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