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Hawaii boasts five contenders for James Beard Awards

By Erika Engle

LAST UPDATED: 7:35 a.m. HST, Feb 20, 2014

Semifinalists for the 2014 James Beard Foundation Awards Restaurant and Chef Awards include five from Hawaii.

Of 30 contenders, MW Honolulu, located in the former KGMB-TV building on Kapiolani Blvd., was nominated in the Best New Restaurant category, and co-owner Michelle Karr-Ueoka was nominated among 20 candidates for Outstanding Pastry Chef.

Honolulu's two Rising Star Chef of the Year candidates among 25 semifinalists, are Chris Kajioka of Vintage Cave and Andrew Le of The Pig and the Lady.

Ed Kenney, chef-owner of Town, has been named a semifinalist for Best Chef: West, and is among 20 nominees including well-known TV chefs Ludo Lefebvre, chef-owner of Trois Mec in Los Angeles, Tyler Florence of Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco and Michael Chiarello of Bottega in Yountville, Calif.,

The Best Chef category is broken out into 10 regional segments.

A short list of finalists will likely be announced in March, and the annual James Beard Award winners will be announced in May.

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