Dwain Kalup of Wilmington's Domaine Hudson, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery founder Sam Calagione and his new eatery Chesapeake & Maine in Rehoboth Beach have all been recognized as semifinalists for James Beard Awards this year.
It's Calagione's seventh consecutive nomination as one of the country's most outstanding wine, spirits and/or beer professionals. Chesapeake & Maine, the Rehoboth Avenue restaurant that he and wife Mariah opened last March next door to his flagship Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats brewpub, has been named as having one of the best bar programs in the United States.
Beard Awards are widely considered the country's highest culinary honors. This is the first nomination for Kalup, a Wilmington resident.
The Beard Foundation Wednesday morning announced its list of Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists for the 27th annual James Beard Foundation Awards. Selected from a list of over 24,000 online entries, the group of semifinalists in 21 categories represents a wide range of culinary talent, from chefs and dining destinations in 10 different regions across the U.S., to the nation’s top wine and spirits professionals, best new restaurants, rising star chefs, pastry chefs, and bakers. See this year’s full semifinalist list at jamesbeard.org/awards.
On March 15, the Foundation will announce the final nominees for all award categories during a press conference at a.o.c. restaurant in Los Angeles. Winners of the remaining awards will be announced at the James Beard Foundation Awards Gala at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on May 1.
Domaine Hudson, the tony wine bar and restaurant in downtown Wilmington at 1314 N. Washington St., has been recognized by the Beard Foundation before, but this is a first-time nomination for Kalup. He has been the eatery's executive chef since September 2013.
Previously, former Domaine Hudson executive chef J.D. Morton captured the attention of the Beard Foundation awards committee and earned a nod as a Rising Chef semifinalist nominee in 2011.
Domaine Hudson is owned by Mike and Beth Ross, who are veterinarians. The first-time restaurateurs bought the business six years ago and vowed to continue the excellent culinary tradition started there in 2005 by founders Tom and Meg Hudson.
The talented Kalup is easily turning out some of the finest and most elegant food in Wilmington, if not the state. During several visits in 2014 for a restaurant review, I found Domaine Hudson to be one of Delaware's must-visit restaurants, especially for wine lovers and those who appreciate impeccable service.
Kalup came to Domaine from Chicago's Blackbird restaurant. The critically-acclaimed restaurant is owned by several partners including executive chef Paul Kahan, a 2013 James Beard award winner.
Kalup also has hometown experience. He had formerly been with Harry's Hospitality Group, where he was chef de cuisine at Kid Shelleen's. Before that, he worked at Harry's Savoy Grill and Harry's Seafood Grill.
The 2004 Art Institute of Philadelphia graduate also has worked at Philadelphia's City Tavern with celebrity chef Walter Staib.
Calagione, who founded Dogfish Head with his wife, Mariah, in 1995, has been a Beard Award finalist for the past six years. Referencing a frequently nominated soap actress, he has often joked he is the Susan Lucci of the ceremony.
Chesapeake & Maine at the 316 Rehoboth Ave. focuses on seafood from the Chesapeake region and from Maine. The Calagiones purchased the former Finbar Pub & Grill in 2013 and did extensive renovations.
The Calagiones also worked to create a beer, exclusive to the restaurant, that would marry well with the oysters and other seafood. SeaQuench is Dogfish Head's salty-sour take on a German-style ale. Infused with Chesapeake sea salt, black limes and coriander, it's an easy drinking brew with a mellow 4.6 percent alcohol by volume. (Dogfish Head's popular 60 Minute IPA clocks in at 6 percent ABV.)
They also make creative cocktails using their own line of distilled spirits.
Nominees for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic region, which includes culinary professionals from Washington, D.C., Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia, include:
Brittanny Anderson, Metzger Bar and Butchery, Richmond, Virginia
Scott Anderson, Elements, Princeton, New Jersey
Joey Baldino, Zeppoli, Collingswood, New Jersey
Ian Boden, The Shack, Staunton, Virginia
Amy Brandwein, Centrolina, Washington, D.C.
Tom Cunanan, Bad Saint, Washington, D.C.
Nicholas Elmi, Laurel, Philadelphia
Mike Friedman, All-Purpose Pizzeria, Washington, D.C.
Dwain Kalup, Domaine Hudson, Wilmington, Delaware
Tarver King, The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm, Lovettsville, Virginia
Rich Landau, Vedge, Philadelphia
Seng Luangrath, Thip Khao, Washington, D.C.
Cristina Martinez and Benjamin Miller, South Philly Barbacoa, Philadelphia
Cedric Maupillier, Convivial, Washington, D.C.
Dan Richer, Razza Pizza Artigianale, Jersey City, New Jersey
Justin Severino, Cure, Pittsburgh
Greg Vernick, Vernick Food & Drink, Philadelphia
Cindy Wolf, Charleston, Baltimore
The nominees for Most Outstanding Wine, Spirits and Beer Professional include:
Scott Blackwell and Ann Marshall, High Wire Distilling Company, Charleston, South Carolina
Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, Delaware
Wayne Carpenter, Skagit Valley Malting, Burlington, Washington
Vinnie Cilurzo, Russian River Brewing Company, Santa Rosa, California
Diane Flynt, Foggy Ridge Cider, Dugspur, Virginia
Miljenko Grgich, Grgich Hills Estate, Rutherford, California
Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, Evil Twin Brewing, Brooklyn, New York
Charles Joly, Crafthouse Cocktails, Chicago
Manfred Krankl, Sine Qua Non, Oak View, California
Drew Kulsveen, Willett Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky
Jim Law, Linden Vineyards, Linden, Virginia
Ted Lemon, Littorai Wines, Sebastopol, California
Greg Lorenz, SakéOne, Forest Grove, Oregon
Steve Matthiasson, Matthiasson Wines, Napa, California
Steve McCarthy, Clear Creek Distillery, Portland, Oregon
Herman C. Mihalich and John S. Cooper, Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey, Bristol, Pennsylvania
Aldo Sohm, Zalto Glass, New York City
Rob Tod, Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, Maine
Chris Weld, Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Sheffield, Massachusetts
Nominees for Outstanding Bar Program:
Anvil Bar & Refuge, Houston
Arnaud’s French 75 Bar, New Orleans
The Baldwin Bar, Woburn, MA
Bar Agricole, San Francisco
Bar Goto, NYC
Chesapeake & Maine, Rehoboth Beach, DE
Clyde Common, Portland, OR
Columbia Room, Washington, D.C.
Cure, New Orleans
The Dead Rabbit, NYC
The Esquire Tavern, San Antonio
Kimball House, Decatur, GA
Lost Lake, Chicago
Manifesto, Kansas City, MO
Marvel Bar, Minneapolis
The Portland Hunt + Alpine Club, Portland, ME
The Varnish, Los Angeles