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NEW: Two Rhode Island Chefs Named James Beard Award Semi-Finalists

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

 

Two Rhode Island chefs are in the running for a prestigious James Beard Award. Another RI restaurant is also a semi-finalist for its bar program.

Two of Rhode Island's high-profile chefs have just been named semi-finalists for the prestigious James Beard Foundation 2013 awards and a third RI restaurant has also been named a semi-finalist for its bar.

Persimmon's Champe Speidel and Farmstead Inc.'s Matt Jennings are both semi-finalists in the Best Chef Northeast category, sharing the honor with 18 other chefs in restaurants from Boston to Vermont and the Hudson River Valley. Nemo Bolin's restaurant Cook & Brown Public House is up for Outstanding Bar Program, honored on a short list of 24 other restaurants nationwide.  Champe Speidel’s Persimmon is also competing for outstanding service, a nationwide honor among a list of 20 restaurants.

The James Beard Awards, nicknamed the “Oscars of food,” honors the finest culinary masters in the nation.

Threepeat for Jennings

This is Jennings' third time reaching the semifinals in the James Beard Awards. He’s thrilled for the nomination, but says it’s all part of teamwork.

“We’re stoked! It’s awesome," he said. "It’s always a nice reflection that somebody out there is paying attention to how hard you’re working,” Jennings says about the team at Farmstead. “We’re honored. It’s not just about us, or me, it’s about this place, and our employees.”

But Jennings isn’t going to let the success get to his head. “It’s only the semi finals nomination. We have a ways to go. We’re excited and we’ll see where it goes from here,” he said about his chances of winning. “Just seeing my own name amongst some of the names on that list... I’m honored.”

For more information about the 2013 James Beard Awards awards click here.

 

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