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Cleveland can lay claim to Chicago Beard nominee

Apr 20, 2016 - Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio)

When the James Beard Foundation announced finalists for top chefs this year, it looked like Cleveland and the rest of Ohio were out. But a closer look — well, a note from his mother — led us to one of the Chicago nominees, Lee Wolen, and his undeniable local roots.

A 33-year-old executive chef at Boka in Chicago, Wolen went to Brush High School in South Euclid, studied at Beachwood High’s culinary program, and worked at Moxie in Beachwood and Café 56 in Mayfield Heights. He keep...