The James Beard Foundation announced the finalists for the 2013 James Beard Foundation Awards, and Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen is among the five finalists for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic, one of 10 regional categories.
This is the first time Gjerde has made it to the finalist level. Among Baltimore chefs, only Cindy Wolf has made it to the finalist round, twice, in 2006 and 2008.
“It’s exciting,” said Gjerde, who learned about his nomination soon after it happened. “We were in our managers' meeting at Woodberry, and unbeknownst to me a couple of employees were following the Twitter thread [of the nominations announcement].”
“I really see it as recognition for the incredible work and effort that goes into every day at Woodberry,” Gjerde said.
Gjerde will be competing against Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, Va., Brad Spence of Amis in Philadelphia, Johnny Monis of Komi in Washington and Vikram Sunderam of Rasika, also in Washington.
Gjerde said he hasn’t decided for sure whether he’ll attend the May 6 awards ceremony at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City.