Food & Drink: 2 chefs named James Beard semi-finalists; Blue Coast heads north for Point to Point; Cullen now wine importer


The James Beard Awards announced two Delaware chefs as regional semi-finalists for the Mid-Atlantic Region. The region includes the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

They are:

  1. – Antimo DiMeo, Bardea Food & Drink, Wilmington.
  2. – Bill Hoffman, The House of William & Merry, Hockessin.

Bardea, located on Market Street in downtown Wilmington has become nationally known and is preparing to open a steakhouse in the same area.


The House of William & Merry, co-owned by Hoffman, has always ranked high in diner ratings.

Other regional finalists.

  1. Anthony Andiario, Andiario, West Chester, PA
    • Joey Baldino, Zeppoli, Collingswood, NJ
    • Angel Barreto, Anju, Washington, D.C.
    • Amy Brandwein, Centrolina, Washington, D.C.
    • Adam Diltz, Elwood, Philadelphia
    • Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer, Canal House Station, Milford, NJ
    • Matt Hill, Ruthie’s All-Day, Arlington, VA
    • Jesse Ito, Royal Izakaya, Philadelphia
    • Kate Lasky and Tomasz Skowronski, Apteka, Pittsburgh
    • Wei Lu, China Chalet, Florham Park, NJ
    • Cristina Martinez, South Philly Barbacoa, Philadelphia
    • Peter Prime, Cane, Washington, D.C.
    • Carlos Raba, Clavel Mezcaleria, Baltimore
    • Michael Rafidi, Albi, Washington, D.C.
    • Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon, Kalaya Thai Kitchen, Philadelphia
    • Yuan Tang, Rooster & Owl, Washington, D.C.
    • Wei Zhu, Chengdu Gourmet, Pittsburgh
    • Bethany Zozula, 40 North at Alphabet City, Pittsburgh

SoDel’s Blue Coast coming to point to point

Point-to-Point Steeplechase at Winterthur Museum & Gardens on May 8 will feature SoDel Concepts’ Blue Coast at one of its hospitality tents.

“We’re excited to bring the flavors of our Sussex County restaurants to the Brandywine Valley and ‘Chateau Country,’” said Scott Kammerer, president of SoDel Concepts. “Everyone in Delaware knows that Point-to-Point kicks off the social season in the state. It’s a tradition, and we’re honored to be part of it.”

Tickets are $150 per person and include parking, admission to the event, food and beverages. The menu will feature Bluecoast’s deviled eggs, freshly shucked oysters, lobster tea sandwiches and a strawberry parfait made with Sussex County strawberries. To purchase tickets, visit

Based in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, SoDel Concepts has 16 coastal restaurants, three sports concessions and a wedding-and-events venue in Coastal Sussex County. 

Cullen adds imported wine to his ventures

Coastal Sussex food and entertainment entrepreneur Paul Cullen has added imported wine to his business ventures

The former bass player for Bad Company along with business partner Jim Rivette recently formed Unplugged and Uncorked.

Cullen also owns Paul’s Kitchen, an Italian market and brunch spot, and The Room at Cedar Grove, a Lewes event venue. He also leads trips to Italy.

The three current wines in the Unplugged and Uncorked portfolio include Rosso di Toscana, a Sangiovese from Montalcino; Roero Arneis, a white grape varietal originating in Piemonte; and Barbera di Asti, an everyday red also from the Piemonte area.

Nina Peery is managing the wine program as the “eno envoy” or “wine messenger.” The Milton resident has been Cullen at-home dining assistant.

“Paul has cultivated a host of fans — foodies, travelers, musicians, music-lovers and oenophiles — over the past 20 years,” Peery says. “He’s served 12,000 in-home dining clients since 2016. These friends and fans love the new wines.”

All three wines are available at Swigg, located in Independence Mall in north Wilmington Peco’s Liquor Store also in north Wilmington, Frank’s Wine in Wilmington, R&L Liquors in Lewes and Outlet Liquors in Rehoboth Beach.