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    Who are the James Beard award nominees for 2019?

    Cassie Piuma of Sarma (left), Tony Messina of Uni (center), and Tiffani Faison of Tiger Mama are all nominated for Best Chef: Northeast.
    Lane Turner/globe staff; courtesy photo; Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe
    Cassie Piuma of Sarma (left), Tony Messina of Uni (center), and Tiffani Faison of Tiger Mama are all nominated for Best Chef: Northeast.

    Today the James Beard Foundation announced the nominees for its 2019 awards, often referred to as the Oscars of the culinary world.

    The nominees for Best Chef: Northeast are Tiffani Faison of Tiger Mama, James Mark of North in Providence, Tony Messina of Uni, Cassie Piuma of Sarma, and Benjamin Sukle of Oberlin in Providence.

    Faison, Messina, Piuma, and Sukle were up for this award last year. It’s exciting to see the deserving James Mark, also behind Providence restaurant Big King, as the new name here.


    It’s déjà vu all over again in the national categories as well, with two locals returning to the nominee list. Maura Kilpatrick, of Sofra Bakery and Café, is once again up for Outstanding Baker. And Ken Oringer (Little Donkey, Toro, Uni, and others) sees a repeat nomination for Outstanding Restaurateur.

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    Looking a bit farther afield, Rob Tod of Allagash Brewing Company in Portland, Maine, is nominated in the category of Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Producer.

    If things look much the same for local talent this year, a list of semifinalists released last month promises change on the horizon. It features many new candidates, including Carl Dooley (The Table at Season to Taste) and Peter Ungár (Tasting Counter) in the Best Chef: Northeast category, Ana Sortun (Oleana) for Outstanding Chef, the Butcher Shop and haley.henry for Outstanding Wine Program, and Giselle Miller (Menton) for Rising Star Chef of the Year.

    There are also several nominees with local ties up for book awards. In the General category, “Milk Street: Tuesday Nights” by Chris Kimball; for Health and Special Diets, “The Complete Diabetes Cookbook” from America’s Test Kitchen; and in the Baking and Desserts category, “Black Girl Baking” by Jerrelle Guy.

    The winners will be announced on May 6 at the awards gala in Chicago.


    Find the complete list of nominees here.

    Devra First can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @devrafirst.