Ben Sukle, chef of the downtown Providence restaurant Birch, was named a finalist for a James Beard Award yesterday. The awards are some of the highest honors of the food world, often likened to the Oscars. Sukle is one of five chefs left in the Best Chef Northeast category.
This year, Rhode Island had two chefs among the 20 semifinalists in the Best Chef category- Derek Wagner of Nick’s on Broadway was the other nominee.
The last time a Rhode Island chef was a James Beard Award finalist was in 2014. It’s been almost 25 years since a Rhode Island chef took home the award.
Sukle is going up against three chefs from Massachusetts and one from Maine.
Winners will be announced in May.