There were thousands of entries for the 2011 Best Chef and Best New Restaurant awards bestowed by the James Beard Foundation. www.jamesbeard.org/
Making it to the semi-finalist list for Best Chef for the first time are Matt Jennings of La Laiterie (www.farmsteadinc.com/) in Providence and Champe Speidel of Persimmon (www.persimmonbristol.com/) in Bristol.
On the semi-final list for Best New Restaurant is Cooke & Brown Public House (www.cookandbrown.com)
Finalists are announced in March and winners in May.