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February 23, 2016

Nine Maine restaurants, brewers and chefs among James Beard semifinalists

File Photo / Tim Greenway The wild barrel room at Allagash Brewing Co. in Portland. Allagash founder Rob Tod is among the semifinalists for the 2016 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Professional.

The semifinalists for the prestigious 2016 James Beard Foundation Awards have been announced and Maine came out swinging, with nine restaurants, chefs and brewers from across the state being included among the 21 total categories of semifinalists.

From a field of over 20,000 entries from across the United States, Maine is represented in the following categories:

  • Best New Restaurant: The Honey Paw in Portland
  • Outstanding Restaurant (establishments must have been founded at least 10 years ago): Fore Street in Portland
  • Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Professional: Rob Tod of Allagash Brewing Co. in Portland
  • Rising Star Chef of the Year (entrants must be under 30 years of age): Cara Stadler of Tao Yuan in Brunswick, Stadler is also the owner of Bao Bao Dumpling House in Portland
  • Best Chef, Northeast region: Erin French of The Lost Kitchen in Freedom; Brian Hill of Francine Bistro in Camden; Keiko Suzuki Steinberger of Suzuki’s Sushi Bar in Rockland; and Mike Wiley and Andrew Taylor of Eventide Oyster Co., Portland.

On March 15, the semifinalists of each category will be narrowed down by an independent panel of culinary experts to five finalists, with the final awards being handed out on May 2 in Chicago.

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Maine home to four James Beard finalists

Allagash Brewing gets some props in Windy City

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