For Fourth Straight Year, Baltimore’s Cindy Wolf Picked as James Beard Award Finalist

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Cindy Wolf

Cindy Wolf of Charleston in Harbor East has once again been tapped as a finalist for the most high-profile food awards in the United States.

Wolf is the… *ahem* …lone wolf representing Baltimore among the 2017 James Beard Award finalists, announced earlier today. She’s now been nominated as a finalist for the award’s Mid-Atlantic Best Chef category six times in the last 11 years, including each of the last four.

“I am honored to be a finalist and so proud of my staff,” Wolf said in a statement Wednesday.

Her competition this year: Amy Brandwein of Centrolina and Tom Cunanan of Bad Saint, both in Washington D.C., and Rich Landau of Vedge and Greg Vernick of Vernick Food & Drink, both located in Philadelphia.

Charleston serves American fare with a classic French twist and is regularly rated the best restaurant in Baltimore City by local publications. Wolf co-owns the restaurant with restaurateur Tony Foreman. The pair also opened Petit Louis Bistro in Roland Park.

Charleston and Woodberry Kitchen, owned by fellow elite Baltimore chef Spike Gjerde, were both nominated as semifinalists for this year’s awards in the respective categories of Outstanding Wine Program and Outstanding Service. However, neither the made the cut when the nominees were whittled down from 20 choices to five.

Gjerde took home the James Beard Award for Best Chef in 2015, making him the only Baltimore chef to ever do so. (Read our Q&A with him from November 2014 here.)

The James Beard Awards annually honor the best chefs, restaurants, wine connoisseurs, cookbooks, food journalists and others. Luckily, the breadth of the categories allowed for one other nominee to represent the Free State: “I Want Crab. Pure Maryland Crab,” by Bill Addison of Eater, published last September.

We’ll learn out if Wolf can bring home a second James Beard Award for Best Chef to Charm City when the awards are presented on May 1.

Ethan McLeod
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