Congratulations are in order for an elite group of Arizona chefs and restaurants included in the list of 2010 James Beard Award semifinalists, which were just announced by the James Beard Foundation this morning.
The nominees were chosen from among 21,000 entries from across the country. Five finalists in each category will be announced on March 22.
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Once again, Sam Fox of Fox Restaurant Concepts is up for Outstanding Restaurateur. Janos Wilder of Janos in Tucson is among the Outstanding Chef nominees. Vincent on Camelback joins a prestigious lineup for Outstanding Restaurant. St. Francis is a contender for Best New Restaurant. Tarbell's is recognized for Outstanding Wine Service. And for the always anticipated Best Chef: Southwest category, Kevin Binkley (Binkley's), Beau MacMillan (elements) and Silvana Salcido Esparza (Barrio Cafe) are all in the running.