Two Louisvillians are finalists for the 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards, considered the most prestigious award for food professionals and often referred to as the Oscars of the food world.

Julian P. Van Winkle III of the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery is up for the Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional Award, which celebrates a winemaker, brewer or spirits professional who has made a significant impact on the wine and spirits industry nationwide.

Landing a spot in the Best Chef: Southeast category is Edward Lee, chef/restaurateur at 610 Magnolia.

The winners will be feted May 9 at a gala in New York City.