MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There’s no denying the culinary prowess coming out of Twin Cities kitchens today. Several Minnesota chefs and restaurants are consistently recognized on a national scale — and by the prestigious James Beard Award Foundation.

This year is no different. The list of James Beard Award Semifinalists was released Wednesday, featuring a dozen chefs and restaurants in our area.

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Known as the Academy Awards of cooking, the Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee of the James Beard Foundation scours roughly 40,000 submissions to whittle the list down to an impressive few.

The awards are divided into categories, ranging from Best Restaurant and Outstanding Chef to Outstanding Service and Best Chef by region.

Here are the local chefs and restaurants who made this year’s list of semifinalists:

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Outstanding Bar Program: Marvel Bar, Minneapolis
Outstanding Chef: Isaac Becker, 112 Eatery, Minneapolis
Outstanding Pastry Chef: Steve Horton, Rustica Bakery, Minneapolis
Outstanding Service: Restaurant Alma, Minneapolis
Outstanding Wine/Spirits/Beer Professional: Eric Seed, Haus Alpenz, Edina, MN

Best Chef: Midwest semifinalists
Paul Berglund, The Bachelor Farmer, Minneapolis
Steven Brown, Tilia, Minneapolis
Doug Flicker, Piccolo, Minneapolis
Michelle Gayer, Salty Tart, Minneapolis
Jamie Malone, Sea Change, Minneapolis
Lenny Russo, Heartland Restaurant & Farm Direct Market, St. Paul, MN
Jim Webster, Wild Rice, Bayfield, WI

The list of semifinalists will move on to a voting body of former James Beard Award winners, Restaurant and Chef Award Committee members and other panelists from various regions. The five semifinalists with the highest number of votes in each category will then become the nominees.

The 2014 James Beard Awards will be held in New York City on May 2 and 5.

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For a full list of the semifinalists, click here.