The James Beard Foundation announces its award finalists starting at 2 p.m. today, and seven Triangle chefs will learn if they made the cut.
Among the semifinalists for Best Chef in the Southeast are Andrea Reusing of Lantern in Chapel Hill; Ashley Christensen of Poole's Diner in Raleigh; Aaron Vandemark of Panciuto in Hillsborough; Chip Smith of Bonne Soiree in Chapel Hill; Scott Crawford of Herons at the Umstead Hotel in Cary; Scott Howell of Nana's in Durham; and Shane Ingram of Four Square Restaurant in Durham.
Durham's Magnolia Grill also is a semifinalist in the Outstanding Restaurant category. Its chef-owners Ben and Karen Barker are the state's only James Beard award-winning chefs.
James Beard was a cookbook author, cooking instructor and champion of regional American cuisine. The foundation honors excellence in restaurants, chefs, wine service professionals, cookbook authors and food journalism.
To follow the announcement live, follow @beardfoundation and #jbfa on Twitter.