Women Chefs & Restaurateurs (WCR) announced the finalists for its 10th annual Women Who Inspire Awards, to be presented Nov. 1, during WCR's annual conference at The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C.

The Women Who Inspire Awards recognize women who have demonstrated excellence and innovation in the dining room, kitchen, baking and pastry arts, beverage profession, farming and food production, community affairs, as well as for a lifetime of culinary excellence. Nora Pouillon, chef/owner of Restaurant Nora--America's first certified organic restaurant--in Washington, D.C., will receive the Genesis Award. WCR created the Genesis Award, which has only been given out once before, to recognize a woman who has achieved a true "first" in the culinary profession.

Here are the Women Who Inspire Awards and their finalists:

WCR Barbara Tropp President's Award, sponsored by American Roland Food Corp., recognizes a woman who has made exceptional and lasting contributions to the foodservice industry.
WCR Community Service Award, sponsored by L'Academie de Cuisine, recognizes a woman whose contributions in community or civic affairs have made a strong impact on the lives of others.
WCR Golden Bowl Award, sponsored by The French Culinary Institute, recognizes a woman whose skill in the baking and pastry arts inspires others.
  • Heather Chittum, pastry chef, Hook, Washington, D.C.
  • Kate Jansen, pastry chef/owner, Willow, Arlington, Va.
  • Ina Pinkney, chef/owner, Ina’s Kitchen, Chicago
WCR Golden Fork Award, sponsored by The Culinary Institute of America, recognizes a woman whose front-of-house service or management skills demonstrates a commitment to excellence.
  • Ellen Gray, general manager/owner, Equinox, Washington, D.C.
  • Patricia Koyich, co-owner, Il Sogno, Calgary, Canada
WCR Golden Goblet Service Award, sponsored by Nestlé Waters North America, recognizes a woman whose making or serving of wine, spirits, coffee or tea enhances the dining experience.
WCR Golden Plow Award, sponsored by Bon Appétit Management Co., recognizes a woman whose skill in farming or making artisanal products results in food that respects the environment.
WCR Golden Whisk Award, sponsored by The Institute of Culinary Education, recognizes a woman whose passion and excellence as a chef or cook serves as a role model for others.
  • Gabrielle Hamilton, chef/owner, Prune, New York City
  • Ris Lacoste, chef/owner, Ris, Washington, D.C.
  • Cindy Wolf, executive chef/owner, Charleston Restaurant, Baltimore
For more information on WCR's 2009 Women Who Inspire Awards, visit www.womenchefs.org.