Pittsburgh Restaurants Named as Semifinalists for James Beard Foundation Awards

Check out the local spots nominated for the "Oscars of the food world."

Pittsburgh's booming restaurant scene is receiving national recognition. The Steel City is represented in five different categories in semifinalist nominations for the James Beard Foundation Awards, also known as the "Oscars of the food world."

The local nominees are:

Outstanding Restaurateur: Richard DeShantz and Tolga Sevdik, Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group . The Group's restaurants include Butcher & the Rye; Meat & Potatoes (and M&P Poutine House at PPG Paints Arena) ; tako; and Pork & Beans.

Outstanding Wine Program: Bar Marco . The popular Strip District restaurant includes a 10-seat communal wine room. You can book reservations for a 5-course meal paired with wines.

Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional: Meredith Meyer Grelli, Wigle Whiskey . Grelli is the co-founder and owner of the Pittsburgh-based craft distillery, which currently operates at four locations (Strip District, Downtown, North Side, and Ross Park Mall).

Rising Star Chef of the Year: Becca Hegarty, Bitter Ends Luncheonette . The Liberty Avenue eatery and bakery is open for breakfast and dinner, and produce is sourced from farm in Verona, PA.

Three nominees for Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic: Wei Zhu, Chengdu Gourmet ; Jamilka Borges, Independent Brewing Company ; and Kristin Butterworth, Lautrec .

The finalists in each category will be named at the end of the month, and the winners will be honored in Chicago on May 6.

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