A growing number of newcomers made it onto the list of finalists for this year’s James Beard Foundation Awards, which many consider to be the industry’s most prestigious honor for restaurants, chefs and foodservice professionals.
Nominees for best new restaurant are ABC Kitchen in New York City, Benu in San Francisco, Girl & the Goat in Chicago, Menton in Boston and Torrisi Italian Specialties in New York City.
Nominees for Rising Star, given to chefs aged 30 or younger, are Aaron London of Ubuntu in Napa, Calif.; Thomas McNaughton of flour + water in San Francisco; Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon in Portland, Ore.; Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar in New York City; and Sue Zemanick of Gautreau’s in New Orleans.
Tucker and Zemanick also were nominated last year, but the other three are new to the list.
As is usually the case for the Beard awards, the majority of those nominated last year also were nominated this year.
But there was a bit more of a shakeup this year than last year, when, of the 91 restaurants and people nominated, excluding best new restaurant, 53 had been nominated the year before.
This year, 47 out of 92 nominees are returning.
There was particular shakeup in the Outstanding Service, Outstanding Pastry Chef, and Best Chef in the Northeast categories, in which only one nominee each is back this year. The returning nominees are La Grenouille for outstanding service, Mindy Segal for outstanding pastry chef, and Tony Maws for top chef in Northeast.
The categories with the fewest new nominees are Outstanding Chef, in which only Paul Kahan of Blackbird in Chicago is new to the list, and Best Chef in New York City, whose only newcomer is April Bloomfield of the Spotted Pig.
The winners will be announced on May 9 at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City.
To see senior food editor Bret Thorn’s predictions for the awards, visit his blog, Food Writer’s Diary.
The full list of finalists:
Outstanding Restaurant Design:
Bar Agricole, San Francisco
Pitfire Pizza, Los Angeles
Toast, Novato, Calif.
Outstanding Restaurant Graphics:
L’Artusi, New York City
The National Bar & Dining Rooms, New York City
The Publican, Chicago
Outstanding Wine Service:
A16, San Francisco, Shelley Lindgren
Blackberry Farm Walland, Tenn., Andy Chabot
Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder, Colo., Bobby Stuckey
Picasso at Bellagio, Las Vegas, Robert Smith
The Modern, New York City, Belinda Chang
Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional:
Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, Del.
Merry Edwards, Merry Edwards Winery, Sebastopol, Calif.
Paul Grieco, Hearth and Terroir, New York City
Rajat Parr, Mina Group, San Francisco
Julian P. Van Winkle III, Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, Louisville, Ky.
Best Chef, Northwest:
Matt Dillon, Sitka & Spruce, Seattle
Christopher Israel, Grüner, Portland, Ore.
Andy Ricker, Pok Pok, Portland, Ore.
Ethan Stowell, Staple & Fancy Mercantile, Seattle
Cathy Whims, Nostrana, Portland, Ore.
Best Chef, Pacific:
Michael Cimarusti, Providence, Los Angeles
Christopher Kostow, The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, Calif.
Daniel Patterson, Coi, San Francisco
Richard Reddington, Redd, Yountville, Calif.
Michael Tusk, Quince, San Francisco
Best Chef, Southwest:
Bruce Auden, Biga on the Banks, San Antonio, Texas
Bryan Caswell, Reef, Houston
Saipin Chutima, Lotus of Siam, Las Vegas
Tyson Cole, Uchi, Austin, Texas
Ryan Hardy, Montagne at the Little Nell, Aspen, Colo.
Best Chef, South:
Zach Bell, Café Boulud, Palm Beach, Fla.
John Harris, Lilette, New Orleans
Christopher Hastings, Hot and Hot Fish Club, Birmingham, Ala.
Tory McPhail, Commander’s Palace, New Orleans
Stephen Stryjewski, Cochon, New Orleans
Best Chef, Southeast:
Hugh Acheson, Five and Ten, Athens, Ga.
Craig Deihl, Cypress, Charleston, S.C.
John Fleer, Canyon Kitchen at Lonesome Valley, Cashiers, N.C.
Linton Hopkins, Restaurant Eugene, Atlanta
Edward Lee, 610 Magnolia, Louisville, Ky.
Andrea Reusing, Lantern, Chapel Hill, S.C.
Best Chef, NYC:
Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern
April Bloomfield, The Spotted Pig
Wylie Dufresne, WD-50
Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune
Michael White, Marea
Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic:
Cathal Armstrong, Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, Va.
Johnny Monis, Komi, Washington, D.C.
Peter Pastan, Obellisk, Washington, D.C.
Maricel Presilla, Cucharamama, Hoboken, N.J.
Michael Solomonov, Zahav, Philadelphia
Best Chef, Northeast:
Tim Cushman, o ya, Boston
Krista Kern Desjarlais, Bresca, Portland, Maine.
Gerry Hayden, The North Fork Table & Inn, Southold, N.Y.
Matt Jennings, La Laiterie, Providence, R.I.
Tony Maws, Craigie on Main, Cambridge, Mass.
Eric Warnstedt, Hen of the Wood, Waterbury, Vt.
Best Chef, Midwest:
Justin Aprahamian, Sanford, Milwaukee
Isaac Becker, 112 Eatery, Minneapolis
Colby Garrelts, Bluestem, Kansas City, Mo.
Tory Miller, L’Etoile, Madison, Wis.
Lenny Russo, Heartland, St. Paul, Minn
Best Chef, Great Lakes:
Michael Carlson, Schwa, Chicago
Curtis Duffy, Avenues, at the Peninsula, Chicago
Bruce Sherman, North Pond, Chicago
Paul Virant, Vie, Western Springs, Ill.
Alex Young, Zingerman’s Roadhouse, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Rising Star Chef of the Year:
Aaron London, Ubuntu, Napa, Calif.
Thomas McNaughton, flour + water, San Francisco
Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon, Portland, Ore.
Christina Tosi, Momofuku Milk Bar, NYC
Sue Zemanick, Gautreau’s, New Orleans
Outstanding Pastry Chef:
Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery + Café, Boston
Patrick Fahy, Blackbird, Chicago
Dahlia Narvaez, Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles
Angela Pinkerton, Eleven Madison Park, New York City
Mindy Segal, Mindy’s HotChocolate Restaurant and Dessert Bar, Chicago
Best New Restaurant:
ABC Kitchen, New York City
Benu, San Francisco
Girl & the Goat, Chicago
Torrisi Italian Specialties, New York City
Emeril’s, New Orleans
La Grenouille, New York City
Per Se, New York City
Bruce Bromberg and Eric Bromberg, Blue Hill Restaurants, New York City
Tom Douglas, Tom Douglas Restaurants, Seattle
Pat Kuleto, Pat Kuleto Restaurant Development & Management Company, San Francisco
Richard Melman, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Chicago
Phil Suarez, Suarez Restaurant Group, New York City
Blue Hill, New York City
Boulevard, San Francisco
Eleven Madison Park, New York City
Highlands Bar and Grill, Birmingham, Ala.
José Andrés, mini bar by José Andrés, Washington, D.C.
Gary Danko, Restaurant Gary Danko, San Francisco
Suzanne Goin, Lucques, Los Angeles
Paul Kahan, Blackbird, Chicago
Charles Phan, The Slanted Door, San Francisco
Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected]