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The James Beard Foundation Awards recognize culinary excellence in the United States, so it's only natural for some Top Chef alumni and Cheftestants to make the cut. However, this year is a bit different.
The 2020 list of semifinalists is actually chock full of familiar names and faces. Sixteen past and present Cheftestants made it onto the list this year — a major accomplishment for anyone in the industry!
So, which of your favorites made it?
First off, there are two All Stars on the list, who will be competing on Season 17 of Top Chef: Karen Akunowicz and Gregory Gourdet. Karen and her business, Fox & the Knife, are featured under the "Best New Restaurant" category of the list, while Gregory (director of culinary operations at Departure) is on the list for "Best Chef: Northwest & Pacific."
Another "Best New Restaurant" semifinalist is Mei Lin for her eatery, Nightshade. She is also a semifinalist for "Best Chef: California."
Sarah Grueneberg (Monteverde, Chicago) is a semifinalist for "Outstanding Chef."
And finally, the semifinalist for the "Best Chef: Southeast" category is Annie Pettry (Decca).
Congratulations to these James Beard Foundation Award semifinalists!
Check out the video above to see what's in store for Season 17 of Top Chef, premiering with a supersized episode on Thursday, March 19 at 10/9c.
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