Congratulations are in order for a talented Iowa chef! According to the Iowa City Press-Citizen, Chef Samuel Charles is nominated for a very prestigious award.

The name Samuel Charles may sound familiar to you if you've visited the restaurant Rodina. Located in the Czech Village in Cedar Rapids, the restaurant is described as an "Iowa eatery serving up family-style Midwest comfort food." Samuel Charles and his partner Phoebe Charles are the owners of the popular eatery, which currently has a 4.9-star rating on Facebook.

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Samuel serves as the executive chef of Rodina has been named a semi-finalist for a James Beard Award. That's a really big deal! The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports that "the awards are considered the Oscars of the culinary industry." Chef Samuel is one of 20 chefs nominated in the 'Best Chef: Midwest' category. He's actually the only Iowan to be nominated this year, with the other nominees hailing from Minnesota, South Dakota, Missouri, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Kansas.

Obviously, Chef Samuel and the crew at Rodina are incredibly honored by the James Beard Award nomination! A recent social media post from the restaurant reads:

"We are stunned and beyond humbled to announce Samuel Charles has been announced a James Beard Semi-finalist for best chef midwest 2023. It is also this weekend that Rodina turns 4. This acknowledgment would not be possible without all of our team members dedicating themselves to the hospitality industry. We are deeply thankful to all that made this possible. The industry asks everything of us, but we serve because it’s who we are. This will be a forever reminder of the humility this industry brings to a person, thank you."

It will be a little longer before we find out who officially wins the award, but just being nominated is an honor in itself! The James Beard website says that the final nominees will be announced on Wednesday, March 29th, with all the winners celebrated at an official ceremony on June 5th in Chicago. Until then, you can check out all the 2023 James Beard Awards semi-finalists HERE.

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