It's that time of year again, when the nation's collective dining community celebrates its emerging and exemplary chefs, restaurants, beverage programs and more at the annual James Beard Awards. The James Beard Foundation, one of the preeminent culinary organizations in the world, just announced its 2015 Beard Award semifinalists, and wouldn't you know it, multiple Richmond-area chefs are in the running for the prestigious Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic award.
Congratulations to chefs Lee Gregory (of The Roosevelt and Southbound), Peter Chang (of Peter Chang China Café) and Dale Reitzer (of Acacia Mid-town) for their outstanding work in the RVA dining scene and beyond.
"It's a little bit surreal or a little weird to see your name beside people that you follow or look up to," says Gregory, now a three-time Beard Award semifinalist. "It's pretty cool to be included and really cool for Richmond. You know, Peter's there, Dale is there. It continues to make us relevant and noteworthy and gives [Richmond] something to hang our hat on. So whether it's me or someone else, it's awesome in that regard."
In the coming weeks, The Beard Foundation will whittle down these semifinalists until announcing the 2015 nominees on March 24 at the James Beard House in New York City.
Ed. Note: This post has been updated to include chef Lee Gregory's reaction.