It's no secret that the North Bay is home to one of the best culinary scenes in the nation. But it's still nice to get some local recognition in the "Oscars of food."

A handful of local chefs and restaurants stand out among the 2018 James Beard Award semifinalists. The list includes a few familiar names from St. Helena, Napa and Sonoma. The Charter Oak in St. Helena is up for "Best New Restaurant."

Napa and Sonoma County semifinalists include:

Best New Restaurant
The Charter Oak, St. Helena, CA

Outstanding Chef
Christopher Kostow, The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, CA

Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional
Cathy Corison, Corison Winery, St. Helena, CA
Steve Matthiasson, Matthiasson Wines, Napa, CA

Best Chef: West
Karen Taylor, El Molino Central, Sonoma, CA

Finalists will be announced Wednesday, March 14. To see the full list of 2018 semifinalists, visit jamesbeard.org/blog/the-2018-james-beard-award-semifinalists.

Napa Valley Wine Train’s packages

Quattro Vino Journeys ($332 to $392 per person.)

The Famiglia Tour. The six-hour trip from Napa to Rutherford features a four-course meal and tours of Silverado Vineyards, Whitehall Lane Winery and Grgich Hills Estate.

The Estate Tour. The six-hour trip from Napa to St. Helena features a four-course meal and tours of Domain Chandon, HALL Wines and Inglenook.

The Collective Tour. The six-hour trip from Napa to St. Helena features a four-course meal and tours of St. Supery Estate Vineyards, Beringer Winery and Raymond Vineyards.

The Legacy Tour. The six-hour trip from Napa to St. Helena, features a four-course meal and tours of Robert Mondavi Winery, Charles Krug Winery and V. Sattui Winery.

Day Trippers

Castle Winery Tour. The one-and-a-half hour trip from Napa to Calistoga features a gourmet lunch and an exclusive tour and tasting at Castello di Amorosa. ($269 to $334 per person.)

Raymond Winery Tour. The one-and-a-half hour trip from Napa to St. Helena features a gourmet lunch and an exclusive tour and tasting at Raymond Vineyards. ($209 to $229 per person.)

Grgich Hills Winery Tour. The two-hour trip from Napa to Rutherford features a gourmet lunch and an intimate tour and tasting at Grgich Hills Estate. ($209 to $229per person.)

Ambassador Winery Tour. The one-and-a-half hour trip from Napa to St. Helena features a gourmet lunch and exclusive tours and tastings at Charles Krug Winery and Raymond Vineyards. ($269 to $334 per person.)

Hop Train. The two-hour tour of Napa Valley in the Open Air car every Monday features tastes of local craft beers and bites from Palisades Beer Co. (Begins at $75 per person.)

Dining Journeys

The Vista Dome. The three-hour tour of Napa Valley, offered at lunch and dinner in the two-story Vista Dome, an elevated dining car, features a gourmet meal with a glass of sparkling wine. ($214 to $244 per person.)

The Gourmet Express. The three-hour tour of Napa Valley, offered at lunch and dinner in the refurbished antique Pullman rail cars, features a gourmet meal and a glass of wine. ($139 to $169 per person.)

Murder Mystery. The three-hour tour of Napa Valley features dining on a gourmet meal with a glass of wine while figuring out who-done-it in the murder mystery dinner theatre. ($195 to $215 per person.)

Special Events

Meet the Maker. The three-hour evening rail tour of Napa Valley features a four-course gourmet dinner with a selection of wine from the featured winery, tasting notes from the winemaker, and food pairings. (Begins at $272 per person.)

Blue Note Express Music & Dinner Train. The four-hour tour of Napa Valley, offered every Thursday night, features a glass of sparkling wine and appetizers onboard the new Open Air rail car with a Napa-style meal, a live performance from the “Wine Train Quartet” and a ticket to the 9:30 p.m. show at Blue Note Napa. (Begins at $213 per person.)

Santa Trains: The annual Santa Trains, from Napa to Yountville, feature an interactive adventure and offer its passengers holiday bites and beverages, along with games, sing-alongs, and a fun cast of holiday-inspired characters. (Prices not yet set.)