D.C. was robbed at last year's James Beard Awards with zero wins in the restaurant and chef categories. The city's talent didn't even get any recognition in last year's Best Chef Mid-Atlantic category, which had previously been dominated by D.C.-based chefs.
Now, it's time to get our hopes up again.
This morning, the James Beard Foundation announced the 2016 semifinalists for the Oscars of dining. D.C.-area chefs and restaurants got nearly 20 nods on the long list:
Best New Restaurant
Mark Furstenberg, Bread Furst
Outstanding Bar Program
Outstanding Pastry Chef
Aggie Chin, The Grill Room
Ashok Bajaj, Knightsbridge Restaurant Group (The Bombay Club, The Oval Room, Rasika, and others)
Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier
Outstanding Wine Program
The Red Hen
Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
Victor Albisu, Del Campo
Erik Bruner-Yang, Maketto
Cedric Maupillier, Convivial
Aaron Silverman, Rose’s Luxury
Peter Chang, Peter Chang, Arlington
Tarver King, The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm, Lovettsville, Va.
See the full list of semifinalists here. All finalists will be announced March 15, and the restaurant and chef winners will be named on May 2 in Chicago. A separate ceremony for book, broadcast, and journalism award winners goes down in New York on April 26.
UPDATE: For comparison, D.C.'s semifinalists for 2015 vs. 2016:
Photo via the James Beard Foundation