Bestselling cookbook is a finalist for a James Beard Award

"Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams" racked up some fresh bragging rights this afternoon when it was named a finalist in the annual James Beard Foundation Awards. The cookbook, released in 2011, made the New York Times bestsellers list and has won praise from readers and culinary types alike. (And also, we must confess, from Alive staffers.)

The Beard awards, the Oscars of the food world, honor chefs, restaurants, beverage programs and directors and food journalists across a dazzling array of categories.

Two Columbus chefs - Richard Blondin of Refectory and Kent Rigsby of Rigsby's Kitchen - were semifinalists in the Great Lakes chefs competition, as were Ohio chefs Anne Kearney (Rue Domaine, Dayton) and Jonathon Sawyer (Greenhouse Tavern and Noodlecat, Cleveland).

Kearney was named a finalist and will compete against the other Great Lakes finalists: Michael Carlson (Schwa, Chicago), Stephanie Izard (Girl and the Goat, Chicago), Bruce Sherman (North Pond, Chicago) and Andrew Zimmerman (Sepia, Chicago).