A deep dive into the Beard Foundation semifinalists

A deep dive into the Beard Foundation semifinalists

Many familiar names populate the long list

The James Beard Foundation released its long list of semifinalists for its prestigious Restaurant and Chef Awards Thursday. The chefs, restaurateurs, restaurants and beverage professionals were selected from more than 20,000 online entries as well as from national and regional panels comprised of food and beverage writers and editors and past Beard Award winners. Heads of those committees whittle down the list of entries, this year to 435 finalists in 21 categories.

Those panels of more than 600 judges will then vote on the semifinalists, and nominees will be announced on the morning of March 14 at Parc Restaurant in Philadelphia. The winners will be announced at an awards gala at Lyric Opera of Chicago May 7.

As in previous years, about half of the semifinalists this year also made the long list last year, although there was a bit of a shakeup in the national categories of Outstanding Wine Program and Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional and the regional categories of best chef in the Southeast and Southwest, each of which had only eight out of 20 semifinalists return from last year.

All 28 of the semifinalists for best new restaurant are, by definition, new to the list. Washington, D.C., which had two restaurants on that list last year have three this year: ChiKo, Del Mar de Fabio Trabocchi, and Maydan. The same is true for Los Angeles. Their semifinalists are Felix Trattoria, Kismet and Vespertine.

New York City maintained its two semifinalists, neither one serving European-influenced food. Cote is a Korean steakhouse, and Empellon Midtown is Mexican.

Chicago slipped from three semifinalists last year to two this year and also left European-influenced restaurants of the list (HaiSous is Vietnamese and Mi Tocaya Antojeria is Mexican). Seattle slipped from two to one: JuneBaby.

San Francisco, which had two semifinalists for best new restaurant last year, doesn’t have any this year.

Among notable newcomers in the category of outstanding baker is George Kanemitsu of Kanemitsu Bakery in Kaunakakai, Hawaii — probably the first Beard Award semifinalist from the island of Molokai.

Just five out of 20 semifinalists in the Outstanding Restaurateur category aren’t returning from last year. They are Rick DeShantz and Tolga Sevdik of the Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group in Pittsburgh; Benjamin and Max Goldberg of Strategic Hospitality in Nashville; Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan of the Rustic Canyon Restaurant Group in Santa Monica, Calif.; Akkapong Ninsom, who operates several Thai restaurants in Portland, Ore.; and Steve Palmer of The Indigo Road group in Charleston, S.C.

See the end of this story for the full list of national semifinalists.

Some cities fared better than others in the regional categories. Chicago continued to dominate in the Great Lakes (Ill., Ind., Mich. and Ohio), once again landing 13 spots on the list of 20 semifinalists for best chef in the region. Detroit slipped from three to two semifinalists, Indianapolis maintained its two and Cleveland, which was frozen out last year, got two semifinalists this year.

Semifinalists in bold are returning from last year 

Best Chef: Great Lakes
Andrew Brochu, Roister, Chicago
Abraham Conlon, Fat Rice, Chicago
Diana Dávila, Mi Tocaya Antojería, Chicago
Paul Fehribach, Big Jones, Chicago
Brian Fisher, Entente, Chicago
Jason Hammel, Lula Café, Chicago
Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark, Parachute, Chicago
Thomas Lents, Chef’s Table at Detroit Foundation Hotel, Detroit
Ryan McCaskey, Acadia, Chicago
Abbi Merriss, Bluebeard, Indianapolis
Steve Oakley, Oakleys Bistro, Indianapolis
David Posey and Anna Posey, Elske, Chicago
Iliana Regan, Elizabeth, Chicago
James Rigato, Mabel Gray, Hazel Park, Mich.
Jose Salazar, Mita’s, Cincinnati
Noah Sandoval, Oriole, Chicago
Zoe Schor, Split-Rail, Chicago
Karen Small, Flying Fig, Cleveland
Jill Vedaa, Salt, Lakewood, Ohio
Lee Wolen, Boka, Chicago

In the Mid-Atlantic (D.C., Del., Md., N.J., Pa., and Va.), Washington, D.C. jumped from six to seven semifinalists, and Philadelphia went from five to six. Pittsburgh maintained its two semifinalists but Baltimore, which had one last year, didn’t have any this year.

Semifinalists in bold are returning from last year 

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
Brittanny Anderson, Brenner Pass, Richmond, Va.
Joey Baldino, Zeppoli, Collingswood, N.J.
Amy Brandwein, Centrolina, Washington, D.C.
Kristin Butterworth, Lautrec, Farmington, Pa.
Tony Conte, Inferno Pizzeria Napoletana, Darnestown, Md.
Tom Cunanan, Bad Saint, Washington, D.C.
Nicholas Elmi, Laurel, Philadelphia
Tarver King, The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm, Lovettsville, Va.
Rich Landau, Vedge, Philadelphia
Jeremiah Langhorne, The Dabney, Washington, D.C.
Esther Lee, Obelisk, Washington, D.C.
Seng Luangrath, Padaek, Falls Church, Va.
Cristina Martinez and Benjamin Miller, El Compadre, Philadelphia
Cedric Maupillier, Convivial, Washington, D.C.
Dan Richer, Razza Pizza Artigianale, Jersey City, NJ
David Viana, Heirloom Kitchen, Old Bridge, NJ
Ena Widjojo, Maylia Widjojo, and Diana Widjojo, Hardena, Philadelphia
Cindy Wolf, Charleston, Baltimore
Wei Zhu, Chengdu Gourmet, Pittsburgh
Bethany Zozula, Whitfield, Pittsburgh

In the Midwest (Iowa, Kan., Minn., Mo., Neb. N.D., S.D., and Wis.), Milwaukee moved from three to four semifinalists, St. Louis maintained its four, Madison, Wis., slipped from two to one and the Twin Cities also lost one, leaving it with six semifinalists.

Best Chef: Midwest
Karen Bell, Bavette La Boucherie, Milwaukee
Thomas Boemer, Corner Table, Minneapolis
Steven Brown, Tilia, Minneapolis
Justin Carlisle, Ardent, Milwaukee
Lisa Carlson, Chef Shack, Bay City, Wis.
Michael Corvino, Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room, Kansas City, Mo.
Ben Grupe, Elaia, St. Louis
Thomas Hauck, c.1880, Milwaukee
Jonny Hunter, Forequarter, Madison, Wis.
Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite, EsterEv, Milwaukee
Gavin Kaysen, Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis
Ann Kim, Young Joni, Minneapolis
Lona Luo, Lona’s Lil Eats, St. Louis
Jamie Malone, Grand Café, Minneapolis
Christina Nguyen, Hai Hai, Minneapolis
Mike Randolph, Privado, University City, Mo.
Ashley Shelton, Sardella, Clayton, Mo.
Jay Sparks, Lovechild, La Crosse, Wis.
Joe Tripp, Harbinger, Des Moines, Iowa
Stefano Viglietti, Trattoria Stefano, Sheboygan, Wis.

In New York City, just seven out of 20 chefs are newcomers to the list, but three are from boroughs other than Manhattan (two from Brooklyn and one from Queens) and four out of the seven newcomers are women. Five of the six women (two as part of man and woman teams) have returned from last year. The sixth, Anita Lo, closed her restaurant Annisa and was not eligible.

All three outer borough semifinalists (all from Brooklyn) are returning from last year. 

Best Chef: New York City
Greg Baxtrom, Olmsted, Brooklyn
Emma Bengtsson, Aquavit
Rawia Bishara, Tanoreen, Brooklyn
Amanda Cohen, Dirt Candy
Charles Gabriel, Charles’ Country Pan Fried Chicken
Sean Gray, Momofuku Ko
Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau, Shuko
Ignacio Mattos, Estela
Carlo Mirarchi, Blanca, Brooklyn
Joe Ng, RedFarm
Erik Ramirez, Llama Inn, Brooklyn
Missy Robbins, Lilia, Brooklyn
Justin Smillie, Upland
Rita Sodi, I Sodi
Jeremiah Stone and Fabián von Hauske, Contra
Alex Stupak, Empellón Midtown
Alex Raij and Eder Montero, Txikito
Ann Redding and Matt Danzer, Uncle Boons
Jody Williams, Buvette Gastrothèque 
Helen You, Dumpling Galaxy, Flushing, N.Y. 

In the Northeast (New England and New York outside of the city), Boston and its suburbs slipped from six to five, Portland, Maine, jumped from one to two, Providence, R.I., maintained its two and the rest were spread among restaurants throughout the region. 

Best Chef: Northeast
Unmi Abkin, Coco & The Cellar Bar, Easthampton, Mass.
Karen Akunowicz, Myers + Chang, Boston
Tyler Anderson, Millwright’s, Simsbury, Conn.
Cara Chigazola-Tobin, Honey Road, Burlington, Vt.
Krista Kern Desjarlais, The Purple House, North Yarmouth, Maine
Vien Dobui, Cong Tu Bot, Portland, Maine
Tiffani Faison, Tiger Mama, Boston
Erin French, The Lost Kitchen, Freedom, Maine
Victor Parra Gonzalez, Las Puertas, Buffalo, N.Y.
Seizi Imura, Cafe Sushi, Cambridge, Mass.
Brian Lewis, The Cottage, Westport, Conn.
Matt Louis, Moxy, Portsmouth, N.H.
Tony Messina, Uni, Boston
Ravin Nakjaroen, Long Grain, Camden, Maine
Cassie Piuma, Sarma, Somerville, Mass.
Elizabeth Ronzetti and Adam Kopels, 18 Bay Restaurant, Shelter Island, N.Y.
Champe Speidel, Persimmon, Providence, R.I.
Keiko Suzuki Steinberger, Suzuki’s Sushi Bar, Rockland, Maine
Nick Suarez, Gaskins, Germantown, N.Y.
Benjamin Sukle, Oberlin, Providence, R.I.

In the Northwest (Alaska, Idaho, Mont, Ore., Wash. and Wyo.), Portland, Ore., has nine semifinalists, up from eight last year, and Seattle has six, down from seven last year.

Best Chef: Northwest
Peter Cho, Han Oak, Portland, Ore.
Laura Cole, 229 Parks Restaurant & Tavern, Denali National Park & Preserve, Alaska
Eric Donnelly, RockCreek, Seattle
Jeff Drew, Snake River Grill, Jackson, Wyo.
Jeremy Engebretson, Lilac, Billings, Mont.
Gregory Gourdet, Departure, Portland, Ore.
Edouardo Jordan, Salare, Seattle
Taichi Kitamura, Sushi Kappo Tamura, Seattle
Kris Komori, State & Lemp, Boise, Idaho
Ha (Christina) Luu and Peter Luu, Ha VL, Portland, Ore.
Katy Millard, Coquine, Portland, Ore.
Sarah Minnick, Lovely’s Fifty Fifty, Portland, Ore.
Bonnie Morales, Kachka, Portland, Ore.
Narumol (Nong) Poonsukwattana, Nong’s Khao Man Gai, Portland, Ore.
Ryan Roadhouse, Nodoguro, Portland, Ore.
Mark Schroder, Opus Co., Seattle
Mutsuko Soma, Kamonegi, Seattle
Anna Vogel, Italia Trattoria, Spokane, Wash.
Justin Woodward, Castagna, Portland, Ore.
Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule, Seattle

In the South (Ala., Ark, Fla., La., Miss., and Puerto Rico), New Orleans added a semifinalist, going from six to seven, Miami, Palm Beach, Fla., and San Juan, Puerto Rico, all went from one to two, Tampa/St. Petersburg slipped from two to one and Orlando dropped from two to zero. 

Best Chef: South
Manny Augello, Bread & Circus Provisions, Lafayette, La.
Lindsay Autry, The Regional Kitchen & Public House, West Palm Beach, Fla.
David Bancroft, Acre, Auburn, Ala.
Vishwesh Bhatt, Snackbar, Oxford, Miss.
Bill Briand, Fisher’s Upstairs at Orange Beach Marina, Orange Beach, Ala.
Nina Compton, Compère Lapin, New Orleans
Clay Conley, Buccan, Palm Beach, Fla.
Jose Enrique, Jose Enrique, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus, Coquette, New Orleans
Michael Gulotta, Maypop, New Orleans
Gabriel  Hernandez, Verde Mesa, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Timothy Hontzas, Johnny’s Restaurant, Homewood, Ala.
Brad Kilgore, Alter, Miami
Lauren Macellaro, The Reading Room, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Matthew McClure, The Hive, Bentonville, Ark.
Niven Patel, Ghee Indian Kitchen, Miami
Slade Rushing, Brennan’s, New Orleans
Hieu Than, Kin, New Orleans
Isaac Toups, Toups’ Meatery, New Orleans
Martha Wiggins, Sylvain, New Orleans

Semifinalists from the Southeast (Ga., Ky., N.C., S.C., Tenn. and W.Va.) were spread far and wide. Atlanta dropped from five to three while Charleston, S.C., and Nashville both went from one to three. Raleigh/Durham, which had an impressive showing of four semifinalists last year, had just one this year. Asheville, N.C., maintained its two, Charlotte, N.C., went from two to one. 

Best Chef: Southeast
Mashama Bailey, The Grey, Savannah, Ga.
Katie Button, Nightbell, Asheville, N.C.
Cassidee Dabney, The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tenn.
Paco Garcia, Con Huevos!, Louisville, Ky.
Josh Habiger, Bastion, Nashville
Atsushi Hayakawa, Sushi House Hayakawa, Atlanta
Vivian Howard, Chef & The Farmer, Kinston, N.C.
Meherwan Irani, Chai Pani, Asheville, N.C.
Kevin Johnson, The Grocery, Charleston, S.C.
Sam Jones, Sam Jones BBQ, Winterville, N.C.
Joe Kindred, Kindred, Davidson, N.C.
Cheetie Kumar, Garland, Raleigh, N.C.
Alex Lira, Bar Normandy, Charleston, S.C.
Andy Little, Josephine, Nashville
Rui Liu, Masterpiece, Duluth, Ga.
Margot McCormack, Margot Café & Bar, Nashville
Matthew Raiford, The Farmer & The Larder, Brunswick, Ga.
Rodney Scott, Rodney Scott’s BBQ, Charleston, S.C.
Ryan Smith, Staplehouse, Atlanta
Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Memphis

In the Southwest (Ariz., Colo., N.M. Okla., Texas and Utah) Austin, Texas, was the big gainer, going from one to three semifinalists, while Dallas went from four to one.

Phoenix/Scottsdale went from two to three and Denver and Houston retained their three and five, respectively. 

Best Chef: Southwest
Charleen Badman, FnB, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Kevin Binkley, Binkley’s Restaurant, Phoenix
Jen Castle and Blake Spalding, Hell’s Backbone Grill, Boulder, Utah
Ross Coleman and James Haywood, Kitchen 713, Houston
Silvana Salcido Esparza, Barrio Café Gran Reserva, Phoenix
Kevin Fink, Emmer & Rye, Austin
Michael Fojtasek, Olamaie, Austin
Diego Galicia and Rico Torres, Mixtli, San Antonio
Bryce Gilmore, Barley Swine, Austin
Caroline Glover, Annette, Aurora, Colo.
Anita Jaisinghani, Pondicheri, Houston
Ronnie Killen, Killen’s Steakhouse, Pearland, Texas
Steve McHugh, Cured, San Antonio
Trong Nguyen, Crawfish & Noodles, Houston
Ryan Pera, Coltivare, Houston
Martín Rios, Restaurant Martín, Santa Fe
Dana Rodriguez, Work & Class, Denver
Regino Rojas, Revolver Taco Lounge, Dallas
Alex Seidel, Mercantile Dining & Provision, Denver
Norma Frances “Tootsie” Tomanetz, Snow’s BBQ, Lexington, Texas

In the West (Calif., Nev., and Hawaii), the great restaurant cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco generally do battle for supremacy.

Last year they were neck-and-neck at nine apiece (the other two were in Sonoma and Orange counties), but this year, Las Vegas got a semifinalist and Honolulu got two, leaving San Francisco on top with eight, while Los Angeles had seven.

Semifinalists in bold are returning from last year.
Best Chef: West
Kim Alter, Nightbird, San Francisco
Reem Assil, Reem’s California, Oakland, Calif.
Val M. Cantu, Californios, San Francisco
Josef Centeno, Orsa & Winston, Los Angeles
Michael Cimarusti, Providence, Los Angeles
Dominique Crenn, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco
Jeremy Fox, Rustic Canyon, Santa Monica, Calif.
Brandon Jew, Mister Jiu’s, San Francisco
Chris Kajioka, Senia, Honolulu
Ed Kenney, Mud Hen Water, Honolulu
Jessica Koslow, Sqirl, Los Angeles
Travis Lett, Gjelina, Venice, Calif.
Preeti Mistry, Juhu Beach Club, Oakland, Calif.
Niki Nakayama, n/naka, Los Angeles
Evan Rich and Sarah Rich, Rich Table, San Francisco
Carlos Salgado, Taco María, Costa Mesa, Calif.
Joshua Skenes, Saison, San Francisco
Sheridan Su, Flock & Fowl, Las Vegas
Karen Taylor, El Molino Central, Sonoma, Calif.
Tony Xu , Chengdu Taste, Alhambra, Calif.
 
The national semifinalists follow:

Best New Restaurant

The Anchorage, Greenville, S.C.
Annette, Aurora, Colo.
The Blue Hen, Rehoboth Beach, Del.
Brewery Bhavana, Raleigh, N.C.
The Charter Oak, St. Helena, Calif.
ChiKo, Washington, D.C.
Cote, New York City
Del Mar, Washington, D.C.
Empellón Midtown, New York City
Felix Trattoria, Venice, Calif.
Grand Café, Minneapolis
HaiSous, Chicago
Henrietta Red, Nashville
Honey Road, Burlington, Vt.
JuneBaby, Seattle
Kemuri Tatsu-ya, Austin
Kismet, Los Angeles
Lady of the House, Detroit
Les Sablons, Cambridge, Mass.
Maru Sushi, Honolulu
Maydan, Washington, D.C.
Mi Tocaya Antojería, Chicago
Osteria Radici, Allentown, N.J.
Saffron, New Orleans
Southern National, Mobile, Ala.
Vespertine, Culver City, Calif.
Vicia, St. Louis
Xochi, Houston

Outstanding Baker
Or Amsalam and Alex Phaneuf, Lodge Bread Company, Los Angeles
Evan Andres, Columbia City Bakery, Seattle
David Bauer, Farm & Sparrow, Asheville, N.C.
Andy Clark, Moxie Bread Co., Louisville, Colo.
Dianna Daoheung, Black Seed Bagels, New York City         
Evrim Dogu and Evin Dogu, Sub Rosa Bakery, Richmond, Va.
Tova du Plessis, Essen Bakery, Philadelphia
Ken Forkish, Trifecta Tavern, Portland, Ore.
Michelle Gayer, Salty Tart, Minneapolis
Zachary Golper, Bien Cuit, Brooklyn, N.Y.
George Kanemitsu, Kanemitsu Bakery, Kaunakakai, Hawaii
Maura Kilpatrick, Sofra Bakery and Café, Cambridge, Mass.
Belinda Leong and Michel Suas, B. Patisserie, San Francisco
Lisa Ludwinski, Sister Pie, Detroit
Sarah O’Brien, Little Tart Bakeshop, Atlanta
Taylor Petrehn, 1900 Barker, Lawrence, Kan.
Alison Pray, Standard Baking Co., Portland, Maine
Zak Stern, Zak the Baker, Miami
H. Alexander Talbot and Aki Kamozawa, Curiosity Doughnuts, Stockton, N.J.
Greg Wade, Publican Quality Bread, Chicago

Outstanding Bar Program
Anvil Bar & Refuge, Houston
The Atomic Lounge, Birmingham, Ala.
The Baldwin Bar, Woburn, Mass.
Bar Agricole, San Francisco
Bar Clacson, Los Angeles
Bar Goto, New York City
Bar Leather Apron, Honolulu
Canon, Seattle
Clover Club, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Clyde Common, Portland, Ore.
Columbia Room, Washington, D.C.
Cure, New Orleans
Dante, NYC
Kimball House, Decatur, Ga.
The Living Room at The Dewberry, Charleston, S.C.
Lost Lake, Chicago
Manifesto, Kansas City, Mo.
Standby, Detroit
Teresa’s Next Door, Wayne, Pa.
Trick Dog, San Francisco

Outstanding Chef
Hugh Acheson, Five & Ten, Athens, Ga.
Andrew Carmellini, Locanda Verde, New York City  
Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery + Cafe, Boston
Ashley Christensen, Poole’s Diner, Raleigh, N.C.
Renee Erickson, Bateau, Seattle
Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune, NYC   
Sam Hayward, Fore Street, Portland, Maine
Johanne Killeen, Al Forno, Providence
David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, Calif.
Christopher Kostow, The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, Calif.
Mike Lata, The Ordinary, Charleston, S.C.
Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans
Tony Mantuano, Spiaggia, Chicago
Carrie Nahabedian, Naha, Chicago
Alex Roberts, Restaurant Alma, Minneapolis
Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon, Portland, Ore.
Holly Smith, Cafe Juanita, Kirkland, Wash.
Vikram Sunderam, Rasika, Washington, D.C.
Fabio Trabocchi, Fiola, Washington, D.C.
Blaine Wetzel, The Willows Inn on Lummi Island, Lummi Island, Wash. 

Outstanding Pastry Chef
Jillian Bartolome, Aqui, Houston
Aggie Chin, Mirabelle, Washington, D.C.
Renae Connolly, Benedetto, Cambridge, Mass.
Jennifer Jones Enyart, Dos Urban Cantina, Chicago
Kelly Fields, Willa Jean, New Orleans
Meg Galus, Boka, Chicago
Megan Garrelts, Rye, Leawood, Kan.
Ilma Lopez, Piccolo, Portland, Maine
Margarita Manzke, République, Los Angeles
Dolester Miles, Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, Ala.
Kristen Murray, Måurice, Portland, Ore.
Pat O’Malley, Hungry Pigeon, Philadelphia
Natasha Pickowicz, Flora Bar, New York City
Michelle Polzine, 20th Century Café, San Francisco
Stephanie Prida, The Pool, New York City
Casey Renee, Whitfield, Pittsburgh
Laura Sawicki, Launderette, Austin
Lisa Marie White, Marsh House, Nashville
Cynthia Wong, Butcher & Bee, Charleston, S.C.
Diane Yang, Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis

Outstanding Restaurant 
Balthazar, New York City
Bluestem, Kansas City, M.
Canlis, Seattle
Chase’s Daily, Belfast, Maine
Frankies 457 Spuntino, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder, Colo.
Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, Ala.
Jaleo, Washington, D.C.
Koi Palace, Daly City, CA
Komi, Washington, D.C.
La Casita Mexicana, Bell, Calif.
Legume Bistro, Pittsburgh
L’Etoile, Madison, Wis.
Mama’s Fish House, Paia, Hawaii
Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York City
North Pond, Chicago
O Ya, Boston
Quince, San Francisco
Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco
Talula’s Table, Kennett Square, Pa.

Outstanding Restaurateur
Ashok Bajaj, Knightsbridge Restaurant Group, Washington, D.C.
Paul Bartolotta and Joe Bartolotta, The Bartolotta Restaurants, Milwaukee
Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz, Boka Restaurant Group, Chicago
JoAnn Clevenger, Upperline, New Orleans
Rick DeShantz and Tolga Sevdik, Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group, Pittsburgh
Sam Fox, Fox Restaurant Concepts, Phoenix
Benjamin Goldberg and Max Goldberg, Strategic Hospitality, Nashville
Richard Gonzmart, Columbia Restaurant Group, Tampa, Fla.
Garrett  Harker, Boston
Martha Hoover, Patachou Inc., Indianapolis
Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan, Rustic Canyon Group, Santa Monica, Calif.
Akkapong (Earl) Ninsom, Portland, Ore.
Ken Oringer, Boston
Steve Palmer, The Indigo Road group, Charleston, S.C.
Monique Siu, Portland, Ore.
Ethan Stowell and Angela Stowell, Ethan Stowell Restaurants, Seattle
Caroline Styne, The Lucques Group, Los Angeles
Andrew Tarlow, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Tracy Vaught, H Town Restaurant Group, Houston
Ellen Yin, High Street Hospitality Group, Philadelphia

Outstanding Service
112 Eatery, Minneapolis
The Back Bay Grill, Portland, Maine
Boka, Chicago
Brigtsen’s, New Orleans
Chef Vola’s, Atlantic City, N.J.
Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks, Boston
Hugo’s, Houston
Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier, Washington, D.C.
n/naka, Los Angeles
The Painted Lady Restaurant, Newberg, Ore.
Palme d’Or, Coral Gables, Fla.
Park’s Barbeque, Los Angeles
Providence, Los Angeles
The Red Cat, New York City
Saison, San Francisco
Sepia, Chicago
Tony’s, St. Louis
Zahav, Philadelphia
Zingerman’s Delicatessen, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Zuni Café, San Francisco 

Outstanding Wine Program
a.o.c., Los Angeles
Bacchanal, New Orleans
Benu, San Francisco
The Boarding House, Chicago
Bourbon Steak, Washington, D.C.
Corkbuzz, New York City
FIG, Charleston, S.C.
The Forge, Miami Beach, Fla.
Great China, Berkeley, Calif.
Grill 23 & Bar, Boston
The Little Nell, Aspen, Colo.
Lotus of Siam, Las Vegas
Lucky Palace, Bossier City, La.
Miller Union, Atlanta
Noble Rot, Portland, Ore.
Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, Houston
Passionfish, Pacific Grove, Calif.
Taberna de Haro, Brookline, Mass.
Vino, Honolulu
Wild Ginger, Seattle

Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional
Leah Wong Ashburn, Highland Brewing Co., Asheville, N.C.
Scott Blackwell and Ann Marshall, High Wire Distilling Co., Charleston, S.C.
An Bui, Mekong, Richmond, Va.
Cathy Corison, Corison Winery, St. Helena, Calif.
Tony Coturri, Coturri Winery, Glen Ellen, Calif.
Diane Flynt, Foggy Ridge Cider, Dugspur, Va.
Dave Green, Skagit Valley Malting, Burlington, Wash. 
Meredith Meyer Grelli and Alex Grelli, Wigle Whiskey, Pittsburgh
Miljenko Grgich, Grgich Hills Estate, Rutherford, Calif.
Deirdre Heekin, La Garagista, Bethel, Vt.
Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, Evil Twin Brewing, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Charles Joly, Crafthouse Cocktails, Chicago
Drew Kulsveen, Willett Distillery, Bardstown, K.Y.
Todd Leopold, Leopold Bros., Denver
Steve Matthiasson, Matthiasson Wines, Napa, Calif.
Jordan Salcito, Ramona, New York City
Jeffrey Stuffings, Jester King Brewery, Austin
JC Tetreault and Esther Tetreault, Trillium Brewing Company, Boston
Sean Lilly Wilson, Fullsteam Brewery, Durham, N.C.
Lance Winters, St. George Spirits, Alameda, Calif.

Rising Star Chef of the Year
Rachel Aronow, The Alembic, San Francisco
Gabe Barker, Pizzeria Mercato, Carrboro, N.C.
Jay Blackinton, Hogstone’s Wood Oven/Aelder, Orcas Island, Wash. 
Janine Booth, Stiltsville Fish Bar, Miami Beach, Fla.
Camille Cogswell, Zahav, Philadelphia
Clare de Boer, King, New York City
Martha De Leon, Pax Americana, Houston
Becca Hegarty, Bitter Ends Garden & Luncheonette, Pittsburgh
Jesse Ito, Royal Izakaya, Philadelphia
Liz Johnson, Freedman’s, Los Angeles
Irene Li, Mei Mei, Boston
Maya Lovelace, Mae, Portland, Ore.
Daniela Moreira, Timber Pizza, Washington, D.C.
Shota Nakajima, Adana, Seattle
Tim Nicholson, The Boiler Room, Omaha, Neb.
Juan Pedrosa, Yvonne’s, Boston
Maximillian Petty, Eden Hill, Seattle
Sarah Rinkavage, Marisol, Chicago
Lena Sareini, Selden Standard, Detroit
Parnass Savang, Talat Market, Atlanta
Colin Shane, Arroyo Vino, Santa Fe, N.M.
Brian So, Spring, Marietta, Ga.
Cara Stadler, Tao Yuan, Brunswick, Maine 
Alan Sternberg, Cerulean, Indianapolis
Miles Thompson, Michael’s, Santa Monica, Calif.
Kevin Tien, Himitsu, Washington, D.C.
Jonathan Yao, Kato, Los Angeles

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary 

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