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A month after Metro Detroit chefs and restaurants garnered nine semifinalist nods for the James Beard Foundation Awards, two have leveled up to be nominated for the illustrious award, which is considered the "Oscars of the food world." 

Lisa Ludwinski of West Village's Sister Pie earned a nomination for the Outstanding Baker award. This year marked her third appearance on the semifinal list, and her first as a nominee in this national category. It's been a big year for the baker, who released her first cookbook last fall

Zingerman's Roadhouse in Ann Arbor was shortlisted for Outstanding Service. They advanced from a list of 20 businesses nationwide to a final nominee. 

None of our semifinalists advanced in the Best Chef: Great Lakes category, one of 10 regions. Norberto Garita of El Barzon, Anthony Lombardo of SheWolf, Genevieve Vang of Dearborn's Bangkok 96, Kate Williams of Lady of the House and Mabel Gray's James Rigato were on the semifinal list. 

The Best Chef: Great Lakes category nominees were all chefs from Chicago. 

Selden Standard's Lena Sareini was a semifinalist for Rising Star Chef of the Year for the second year, and Marrow in West Village (right next to Sister Pie) was a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant. Neither advanced to the final nomination phase. 

Last year, seven Metro Detroit chefs and restaurants were listed as semifinalists. Only Zingerman's Deli advanced to a nomination for Outstanding Service, which ultimately went to San Francisco's Zuni Café. 

The James Beard Foundation Awards will be handed out at a gala at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on May 6. The awards are judged by a large panel of experts in their respective fields, and the process is overseen by an independent accounting firm. The winners receive bragging rights and a medal.  

mbaetens@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @melodybaetens

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