India-born chef Vikram Sunderam has been named one of the nominees in the 'Best Chefs of America' category for the 2009 James Beard Foundation Awards, considered to be the food and beverage industry's equivalent to the Oscars.
Sunderam is the executive chef at Rasika, the modern Indian cuisine restaurant in Washington DC. Under the Best Chefs in America category, Sunderam is one of the five finalists in the Best Chef-Mid Atlantic region, comprising the US states of DC, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
The Best Chefs in America category has been sub-divided into 10 regions of Pacific, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Great Lakes, New York City, North-east, North-west, South-east, South-west and South.
The nominees for the awards, which would be presented in May in New York at a gala, were announced in Chicago on Tuesday.
Sunderam would be competing with 49 other chefs from across the US for the award that honours "chefs who have set new or consistent standards of excellence in their respective regions".