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Hawaii chefs, restaurants, iced out of James Beard Awards

  • COURTESY KAT WADE / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER
    The new MW Restaurant features the cuisine of rising-star chefs Michelle Karr-Ueoka and Wade Ueoka. The restaurant’s opening was one of the year’s most highly anticipated.
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None of the Hawaii semifinalists nominated for James Beard Award consideration made it to the list of finalists announced Tuesday morning.

When the semifinalists were announced Feb. 20, four Honolulu chefs and one Honolulu restaurant were among those named.

Chris Kajioka, of Vintage Cave, Michelle Karr-Ueoka, of MW restaurant, Ed Kenney, from Town, and Andrew Le from the Pig & the Lady all were named semifinalists, while MW also was named a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant.

It was Kenney’s second time as a semifinalist, though other longtime Hawaii chefs also have been a semifinalist numerous times without making it to the finalist round.

James Beard Awards for Best Chef are regional, and Hawaii chefs are up against chefs in Nevada and California. This year’s Best Chef finalists all cook in California.

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