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Five Top Chefs Named James Beard Semi-Finalists

Stephanie Izard, Kevin Gillespie, Dale Levitski, Hector Santiago and Kelly LIken are recognized for their culinary achievements.

We're always proud of our Top Chefs, but four of them get an extra "Mazel Tov" today. The James Beard Foundation has named the semi-finalists for its coveted awards, the foodie Oscars, if you will, and four -- count 'em four -- of our own made the cut from 28,000 online submissions! Season 4 winner Stephanie Izard's restaurant, Girl & the Goat is up for Best New Restaurant. Fellow Chicagoan and Top Chef All-Star Dale Levitski is up for Best Chef in the Great Lakes region for his work at his restaurant, Sprout. Season 6 finalist Kevin Gillespie is up for Rising Star Chef of the Year, Season 5's Hector Santiago represents the Southeast for Best Chef, and Season 7's Kelly Liken rallies for the Southwest for her restaurant, Kelly Liken, in Vale, CO.

This list doesn't even include all of our fabulous Top Chef Masters and Top Chef guest judges being recognized! We're not done kvelling, but I'll stop for now. In the meantinme, find your favorite Top Chefs' James-Beard-recognized restaurants, and wish them all luck in the Comments section below.

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