3 NoVA establishments named to James Beard Award semifinalists list

From Outstanding Pastry Chef to Best Regional Chef, here are potential winners to look out for across the region.

thompson italian in falls church bar
Thompson Italian (Photo by Rey Lopez)

The James Beard Foundation released its annual semifinalists list for 2020, and three locations in Northern Virginia have made the cut.  

Rutger de Vink of RdV Vineyards in Delaplane was nominated for Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Producer. He found himself on the list in 2019 as well, but the 2019 award went to Rob Tod of Allagash Brewing Company in Portland, Maine. 

You might recognize the NoVA-based vineyard from our Virginia Wine issue last October. If you’re looking for a winery road trip before the potential-winner gets crowded every weekend, find it here

Two newcomers to the scene have also been nominated, including Mama Chang (named No. 5 on our latest 50 Best Restaurants list) for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA). The Fairfax restaurant’s kitchen is helmed by owners Peter and Lisa Chang. The sister restaurant to Peter Chang, Mama Chang has also become a favorite of The Washington Post’s Tom Sietsema

Thompson Italian, owned by New York restaurateurs Katherine and Gabe Thompson, came in to the NoVA dining scene in 2019 with a splash. The Falls Church restaurant is known for being welcoming to all without the requirement of reservations, and has landed in the Outstanding Pastry Chef category for Katherine’s divine desserts. To learn more about the local restaurant, check out our feature, or find it on our 50 Best Restaurants list from 2019

Finalists will be announced on Wednesday, March 25, so be sure to stay tuned by subscribing to our weekly Food newsletter to stay up to date.

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