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Westword finalists in the James Beard Competition

News of the writing finalists in the

James Beard Foundation Awards

is slowly leaking out of New York City, with the official list coming at noon today. But we already know that Jared Jacang Maher is a contender in the newspaper feature writing category for his February 2009 cover story on

SAME Cafe

. (The restaurant was also featured on

CBS Evening News

on February 16.)

And Jason Sheehan is one of three finalists in the Craig Claiborne Restaurant Reviewing category -- the same category in which he snagged top prize his first year at Westword. (Sheehan left Denver early this year to become the restaurant critic for our partner paper, the Seattle Weekly).

The publication winners will be announced in New York City on May 2, the day before the chef/restaurant awards are announced.

The semi-finalists in that field were released in February, with Colorado well-represented -- among other things, Frank Bonanno was included in the list for Outstanding Restaurateur of the Year.

Those finalists will be announced today, too.

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