Congratulations to Janos Wilder, one of twenty semifinalists for the highly prestigious Outstanding Chef award presented by the James Beard foundation, last year won by Tom Colicchio of Craft and Top Chef fame. Janos has been a semifinalist for the award before, and won the foundation's award for top chef in the southwest in 2000.
Another nominee with a distinct Tucson connection is Sam Fox, who is up for Outstanding Restaurateur for his company Fox Restaurant Concepts, which has eight Tucson outlets.
Update: Also worth noting that City Week listings guru/"calendar girl"/oldest living female rock critic Linda Ray's cousin once removed, Erik Anderson of Sea Change restaurant in Minneapolis is a semifinalist for Best Midwest Chef. Congratulations to Erik (and his extended family).