Rue Dumaine’s Kearney scores ‘best-chef’ nomination for 6th year running

For the sixth consecutive year, Rue Dumaine chef and co-founder Anne Kearney has been named a semifinalist by the James Beard Foundation for its “Best Chefs in America” competition for the Great Lakes region, foundation officials announced this morning, Feb. 17.

Kearney was the only chef from the Dayton area, and one of only three in Ohio, to be named. This year, she was joined by Jose Salazar from Mita’s in Cincinnati, and Zack Bruell, chef at Parallax in Cleveland, on the list of 20 semifinalists.

Kearney advanced to the finalist stage in 2012, becoming one of five finalists in the Beard Foundation’s Great Lakes Region that includes Ohio and which also includes Chicago. The Chicago area has dominated the nominations for the regional “best chef” category through the years, and that was the case again this year: 11 of the 20 semifinalists come from Chicago. The previous two years, half of the 20 semifinalists were from the Chicago area.

The James Beard Foundation Awards are regarded as the nation’s most prestigious recognition program for the food and beverage business — the equivalent of the Academy Awards of the restaurant industry. The foundation will announce five finalists in each category on March 15 in San Francisco, and the winners will be unveiled at an awards ceremony on May 2 at Lyric Opera in Chicago.

The James Beard Foundation recognized Rue Dumaine in 2008, naming it a semifinalist for the foundation’s “Best New Restaurant” in the nation. And Kearney was named a James Beard Foundation best-chef award winner in the southeastern U.S. in 2002 when she and her husband, Rue Dumaine co-owner Tom Sand, owned and operated Peristyle restaurant in New Orleans.

Kearney and Sand, both natives of the Dayton area, opened Rue Dumaine in 2007 at 1061 Miamisburg-Centerville Road (Ohio 725).


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