Cleveland restaurateur Brandon Chrostowski has moved on in the James Beard Award competition, taking one more step toward recognition from one of the highest honors in the culinary world.
"First thing I'll say is, holy sh** this is f***ing unbelievable," Chrostowski said just minutes after receiving the update. "We're in a category with the best restaurateurs in the country."
Chrostwoski was named a finalist on Wednesday, March 29, for the awards' national Outstanding Restaurateur category.
That means the chef, who is behind fine-dining and social entrepreneurship concepts Edwins Leadership and Restaurant Institute, Edwins Bakery and edwins too, has moved closer to potentially nabbing an award win. His concepts are known for offering a culinary training program for formerly incarcerated individuals in Cleveland.
"It really goes to show that the team, the mission, the persistence, it's really starting to resonate with the national powers that be," Chrostowski says. "It feels great. Are you kidding me? I'm certainly going to enjoy a glass of champagne tonight."
Winners will officially be announced on June 5, according to the James Beard Foundation website.
This year marks the second year in a row that Chrostowski has been up for a James Beard award, in the same category.
In January, three chefs behind Larder Delicatessen & Bakery — Allie La Valle-Umansky, Jeremy Umansky and Kenny Scott — were also named semifinalists. They did not move forward in the competition.
Find more information about the James Beard Award finalists at jamesbeard.org/awards.
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