Congratulations to this year’s contenders for the James Beard Award – the long list of semi-finalists has been released and we’re happy to say that Boston is well represented. Will Gilson’s brand spanking new Puritan & Co. is up for Best New Restaurant; Jackson Cannon’s ode to all things cocktail-related, The Hawthorne, is in the running for Outstanding Bar Program; Barbara Lynch is up for consideration as Outstanding Chef; Oleana’s Maura Kilpatrick is among the possibles for Outstanding Pastry Chef; Oleana could very well take home the award for Outstanding Restaurant; empire-builder Roger Berkowitz gets a nod for Legal Sea Foods in the Outstanding Restaurateur category; and Troquet is among the potential winners for Outstanding Wine Program. Fresh faced cookers Will Gilson of Puritan & Co. and Tim Maslow of Strip T’s are possible candidates for Rising Star Chef of the Year while long-standing local favorites like Jamie Bissonnette of Coppa and Toro, Joanne Chang of Flour and Myers + Chang, Matt Jennings of Farmstead, Michael Leviton of Lumière and Area Four and Barry Maiden of Hungry Mother may all find themselves vying for the title of Best Chef: Northeast. They’ll whittle down the contenders in each category and announce the finalists on March 18th. Winners will be named at the awards ceremony on Monday, May 6th. Check out the whole list here then come back for more details as the event draws closer. While you wait, you might want to visit your favorites while you can still snag a table.