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Here Are the 2019 James Beard Awards Restaurant, Chef, and Media Finalists

Today, the James Beard Foundation announced its 2019 slate of finalists. This “short list” of nominees honors the year’s outstanding restaurants, chefs, and food-centric journalism, books, and broadcast media.

Last month, the Beard Awards released its long list of restaurant and chef awards semifinalists, and with it, a reminder that the awards, considered among the highest honors in American hospitality, are continuing to strive for diversity. In October, the James Beard Foundation announced that it would change the makeup of its committees to reflect the demographics of the U.S. Census. They also urged committee members to increase the diversity of the awards judges, which include the committee members and industry experts, as well as previous James Beard Award winners and regional panelists. These changes resulted in a chef and restaurant awards long list with a 7 percent increase in the representation of people of color.

Even before these changes went into effect, the James Beard Awards was doing better at recognizing women and people of color in the restaurant industry. Last year, the James Beard Awards gave 11 of the 16 major awards to women, people of color, or both. The theme for the awards this year — “Good Food for Good” — is a clear nod to these efforts. According to a March press release, the theme references the foundation’s mission, which includes “assert[ing] the power of gastronomy to drive behavior, culture, and policy change around food.” Of course, the foundation has yet to take back medals from the chefs who “asserted the power” they had over employees, such as Mario Batali, John Besh, or Johnny Iuzzini.

The James Beard Awards Gala, which also acknowledges the previously announced America’s Classics awards winners, is scheduled for Monday, May 6, in Chicago. Media awards winners will be revealed on Friday, April 26.

Below, the full list of finalists:

Best New Restaurant

  • Angler, San Francisco
  • Atomix, NYC
  • Bavel, Los Angeles
  • Frenchette, NYC
  • Majordomo, Los Angeles

Outstanding Baker

  • Zachary Golper, Bien Cuit, NYC
  • Maura Kilpatrick, Sofra Bakery and Café, Cambridge, MA
  • Lisa Ludwinski, Sister Pie, Detroit
  • Avery Ruzicka, Manresa Bread, Los Gatos, CA
  • Greg Wade, Publican Quality Bread, Chicago

Outstanding Bar Program

  • Bar Agricole, San Francisco
  • Dead Rabbit, NYC
  • Kimball House, Decatur, GA
  • Lost Lake, Chicago
  • Ticonderoga Club, Atlanta

Outstanding Chef

  • Ashley Christensen, Poole’s Diner, Raleigh, NC
  • David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA
  • Corey Lee, Benu, San Francisco
  • Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans
  • Marc Vetri, Vetri Cucina, Philadelphia

Outstanding Pastry Chef

  • Juan Contreras, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco
  • Kelly Fields, Willa Jean, New Orleans
  • Meg Galus, Boka, Chicago
  • Margarita Manzke, République, Los Angeles
  • Pichet Ong, Brothers and Sisters, Washington, D.C.

Outstanding Restaurant

  • Balthazar, NYC
  • FIG, Charleston, SC
  • Jaleo, Washington, D.C.
  • Quince, San Francisco
  • Zahav, Philadelphia

Outstanding Restaurateur

  • Hugh Acheson, Atlanta (Empire State South, Five & Ten, The National, and others)
  • Rob Katz and Kevin Boehm, Boka Restaurant Group, Chicago (Boka, Girl & the Goat, Momotaro, and others)
  • Ken Oringer, Boston (Little Donkey, Toro, Uni, and others)
  • Alex Raij and Eder Montero, NYC (La Vara, Txikito, Saint Julivert Fisherie, and others)
  • Ellen Yin, High Street Hospitality Group, Philadelphia (Fork, High Street on Market, High Street on Hudson)

Outstanding Service

  • Brigtsen’s, New Orleans
  • Canlis, Seattle
  • Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder, CO
  • Saison, San Francisco
  • Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco
  • Zingerman’s Roadhouse, Ann Arbor, MI

Outstanding Wine Program

  • Bacchanal, New Orleans
  • Benu, San Francisco
  • Miller Union, Atlanta
  • Night + Market, Los Angeles
  • Spiaggia, Chicago

Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Producer

  • Cathy Corison, Corison Winery, St. Helena, CA
  • Ann Marshall and Scott Blackwell, High Wire Distilling Co., Charleston, SC
  • Steve Matthiasson, Matthiasson Wines, Napa, CA
  • Rob Tod, Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, ME
  • Lance Winters, St. George Spirits, Alameda, CA

Rising Star Chef of the Year

  • Ana Castro, Coquette, New Orleans
  • Alisha Elenz, MFK, Chicago
  • Alexander Hong, Sorrel, San Francisco
  • Jesse Ito, Royal Izakaya, Philadelphia
  • Kwame Onwuachi, Kith and Kin, Washington, D.C.
  • Jonathan Yao, Kato, Los Angeles

Best Chef: Great Lakes

  • Diana Dávila, Mi Tocaya Antojería, Chicago
  • Jason Hammel, Lula Café, Chicago
  • Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark, Parachute, Chicago
  • David Posey and Anna Posey, Elske, Chicago
  • Noah Sandoval, Oriole, Chicago
  • Lee Wolen, Boka, Chicago

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic

  • Amy Brandwein, Centrolina, Washington, D.C.
  • Tom Cunanan, Bad Saint, Washington, D.C.
  • Rich Landau, Vedge, Philadelphia
  • Cristina Martinez, South Philly Barbacoa, Philadelphia
  • Cindy Wolf, Charleston, Baltimore

Best Chef: Midwest

  • Michael Corvino, Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room, Kansas City, MO
  • Michael Gallina, Vicia, St. Louis
  • Ann Kim, Young Joni, Minneapolis
  • Jamie Malone, Grand Café, Minneapolis
  • Christina Nguyen, Hai Hai, Minneapolis

Best Chef: New York City

  • Sean Gray, Momofuku Ko
  • Brooks Headley, Superiority Burger
  • Daniela Soto-Innes, Atla
  • Alex Stupak, Empellón Midtown
  • Jody Williams and Rita Sodi, Via Carota

Best Chef: Northeast

  • Tiffani Faison, Tiger Mama, Boston
  • James Mark, North, Providence
  • Tony Messina, Uni, Boston
  • Cassie Piuma, Sarma, Somerville, MA
  • Benjamin Sukle, Oberlin, Providence, RI

Best Chef: Northwest

  • Peter Cho, Han Oak, Portland, OR
  • Katy Millard, Coquine, Portland, OR
  • Brady Williams, Canlis, Seattle
  • Justin Woodward, Castagna, Portland, OR
  • Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule, Seattle

Best Chef: South

  • Vishwesh Bhatt, Snackbar, Oxford, MS
  • Jose Enrique, Jose Enrique, San Juan, PR
  • Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus, Coquette, New Orleans
  • Slade Rushing, Brennan’s, New Orleans
  • Isaac Toups, Toups’ Meatery, New Orleans

Best Chef: Southeast

  • Mashama Bailey, The Grey, Savannah, GA
  • Katie Button, Cúrate, Asheville, NC
  • Cassidee Dabney, The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN
  • Ryan Smith, Staplehouse, Atlanta
  • Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Memphis

Best Chef: Southwest

  • Charleen Badman, FnB, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Kevin Fink, Emmer & Rye, Austin
  • Bryce Gilmore, Barley Swine, Austin
  • Steve McHugh, Cured, San Antonio
  • Michael Fojtasek, Olamaie, San Antonio

Best Chef: West

  • Michael Cimarusti, Providence, Los Angeles
  • Jeremy Fox, Rustic Canyon, Santa Monica, CA
  • Jessica Koslow, Sqirl, Los Angeles
  • Travis Lett, Gjelina, Venice, CA
  • Joshua Skenes, Saison, San Francisco

Outstanding Restaurant Design 75 Seats or Under

  • Studio Writers for Atomix
  • Heliotrope Architects and Price Erickson Interior Design for Willmott’s Ghost
  • Roman and Williams for La Mercerie

Outstanding Restaurant Design, 76 Seats and Over

  • Parts and Labor for Pacific Standard Time
  • Studio Razavi architecture for Boqueria
  • Land and Sea Dept. for Lonesome Rose

Other Eating and Drinking Places

  • Schwartz and Architecture (S^A) for El Pípila
  • Summer Ops for Island Oyster
  • AvroKO for China Live

Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Foundation Awards.

James Beard Foundation [Official]

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