Birch

Bob Pos / CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE VIA FLICKR

To win a James Beard Award means having made it to the upper echelons of the restaurant industry. Often compared to the likes of the Oscars, the awards can put chefs- and the cities their restaurants are in- on the culinary map. This year, two Providence restauranteurs are James Beard semifinalists in the Best Chef Northeast category.

With the General Assembly off on winter break this week, On Politics turns its eye towards Rhode Island's other favorite indoor sport, eating in local restaurants.

The James Beard Foundation has nominated  three Rhode Island chefs for their prestigious awards that are known as the Oscars of the restaurant world. The three from the Ocean State nominated as best in the Northeast region are Matt Jennings of Farmstead in Providence; Champe Speidel of Persimmon in Bristol and Benjamin Sukle of Birch in Providence.