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February 21, 2012

James Beard Foundation Recognizes Pistou & Hen of the Wood

Foodnews-pistouThe nominations are in and as usual, the James Beard Foundation has named some Vermonters among the semifinalists for its restaurant and chef awards.

For his fourth consecutive year, Eric Warnstedt, chef-owner of Hen of the Wood in Waterbury has made the short list for Best Chef Northeast. Could this be the year he finally takes home the medal?

Max MacKinnon, chef and co-owner at Pistou in Burlington (on the left, next to co-owner Maji Chien), found out that his two-month-old business was nominated for the country's best new restaurant when a friend from St. Louis Tweeted him congratulations. "We had no idea to expect it,"he says, still in shock. "I didn't even know [the nominations] were coming out today."

MacKinnon says he attended the New York awards ceremony as a guest last year, never imagining he might be there as a nominee this May. He'll find out on March 19, when finalists are announced. "It's a little crazy," he says. "I'm not even sure what to think about it. It's exciting."

And we're always glad when the Beard Foundation recognizes some of our favorites.


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