An Bui of Mekong was confused due to his lack of facial hair after being informed Thursday morning that he had been named a semifinalist for a James Beard Foundation Award.

An Bui of Mekong was confused due to his lack of facial hair after being informed Thursday morning that he had been named a semifinalist for a James Beard Foundation Award.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Check Out The Richmond Semifinalists for 2018 James Beard Awards

Posted By on Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 12:20 PM

Many of our own have been nominated for some of the most prestigious food-and-drink awards in the country, the Oscars of the culinary world.

The James Beard Foundation announced its 2018 Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists this morning, and Richmond made the list not once, not twice, but three times.

Sibling duo Evrim and Evin Dogu, co-owners of Sub Rosa Bakery, are both named as semifinalists for Outstanding Baker.

In the Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic category, Brittanny Anderson is up against 19 other chefs. Anderson has been known for her rustic Church Hill restaurant Metzger Bar & Butchery, but it’s the much-acclaimed Brenner Pass in Scott’s Addition that landed her on this year’s list.

Unsurprisingly, the third Richmonder on the list gives a nod to our beloved beer scene: An Bui owner of Mekong, the West Broad Street Vietnamese restaurant with dozens of beers on tap, is a semifinalist for Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional.

Bui says he’s never been able to grow a beard. So when friends, family and food writers started reaching out on Thursday morning, congratulating him for his James Beard Foundation nomination, he was confused.

“I was like, what is going on, who is this James Beard guy?” he says. “Everyone says it’s a big deal. I’m just speechless. It still hasn’t hit me yet.”

The nominees will be announced in Philadelphia on Wednesday, March 14 during a live-streamed event, and the 2018 James Beard Award Gala will take place in Chicago on Monday, May 7.

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