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Baltimore chef Cindy Wolf is again a James Beard Award finalist

Chef Cindy Wolf is a finalist for a 2018 James Beard Award.
Chef Cindy Wolf is a finalist for a 2018 James Beard Award. (Sarah Pastrana / Baltimore Sun Media Group photo)

Baltimore chef Cindy Wolf of the Foreman Wolf Restaurant Group has been named a James Beard Award finalist for the seventh time.

Wolf was one of five chefs named as nominees for the Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic category. The James Beard Foundation announced the finalists for its annual restaurant and chef awards Wednesday morning in Philadelphia.

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Wolf and Tony Conte of Inferno Pizzeria Napoletana in Darnestown, Montgomery County, were the two Marylanders among 20 semifinalists for the Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic category, which includes chefs from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Virginia. Conte was not named a finalist.

D.C. chefs Amy Brandwein, Tom Cunanan and Jeremiah Langhorne, and Philadelphia’s Rich Landau join Wolf as the final Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic nominees.

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The James Beard Foundation names “best chef” winners for 10 regions of the country as part of its annual restaurant and chef awards. The organization also announced finalists for its media and restaurant design awards on Wednesday. The full list of nominees is available on the foundation’s website.

It's the 11th time that Cindy Wolf of Baltimore’s Charleston restaurant has been named a semifinalist for the James Beard Award.

Wolf, whose signature restaurant is Charleston in Harbor East, has been a semifinalist for the award 11 times. In addition to Charleston, Foreman Wolf Restaurant Group owns and operates Baltimore restaurants including Cinghiale, Petit Louis Bistro, Bar Vasquez and Johnny’s. The group’s newest addition is Lupa, a Roman trattoria in Columbia.

Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen is the only Baltimore chef to win a James Beard Award. He was named the Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic in 2015.

The winners will be unveiled at the foundation’s annual gala May 7 in Chicago.

This is the first James Beard award given to a Baltimore chef since the New York City-based James Beard Foundation began giving out its awards in 1991.

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