The nominees are in

The finalists for the James Beard Awards for restaurants, wine professionals and food writers are in, and there are some North Carolina faces on the list. Bill Smith, chef of Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill, has received his first nomination ever, for Best Restaurant Southeast. If you’ve eaten there, or met Bill, you know how well-deserved the nomination is.

The other nominees in the category are Hugh Acheson of Five and Ten in Athens, Ga.; Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta; and Mike Lata of Fig and Bob Waggoner of Charleston Grill, both in Charleston, S.C.

Kathleen Purvis, food editor for the Charlotte Observer, is a finalist in Newspaper Feature Writing with Recipes for “The Belly of the Beast,” an article about pig, the beautiful pig. It doesn’t matter who the other nominees in the category are, because they are toast. Nor do they have a food-editor photo that looks like someone’s sexy mom from the 1950s.

While this writer isn’t local, she is a big FOM (Friend of Moose) and has written a wonderful cookbook that I have mentioned here before. Judy Walker, food editor of the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, and Marcelle Bienvenu have been nominated for their book, “Cooking up a Storm: Recipes Lost and Found From the Times-Picayune of New Orleans.” The book grew out of Walker and Bienvenu’s efforts to replace recipes that readers lost in Hurricane Katrina.

The winners in all categories will be announced May 4 in New York City.

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