Wednesday, March 14, 2018

James Beard Award Finalists Announced for 2018

The James Beard Foundation today announced the finalists for its Restaurant and Chef Awards of 2018. The ceremony will be held in Chicago in May.

Below is the list of finalists, followed by the longer list of semifinalists that were announced last month. Now’s the time to book your reservations, as these restaurants will become even “hotter” after the James Beard awards are conferred. The full detail can be found here

For your dining pleasure:

Best New Restaurant
A restaurant opened in the calendar year before the award will be given that already displays excellence in food, beverage, and service, and that is likely to make a significant impact in years to come.

The Charter Oak, St. Helena CA
Empellón Midtown, NYC
Felix Trattoria, Venice CA
JuneBaby, Seattle
Kismet, Los Angeles

Outstanding Baker
A chef or baker who prepares breads, pastries or desserts in a retail bakery, and who serves as a national standard-bearer of excellence. Must have been a baker or pastry chef for at least five years.
Dianna Daoheung, Black Seed Bagels, NYC
Zachary Golper, Bien Cuit, Brooklyn NY
Maura Kilpatrick, Sofra Bakery and Café, Cambridge MA
Belinda Leong and Michel Suas: B. Patisserie, San Francisco
Alison Pray: Standard Baking Co., Portland, ME
Greg Wade: Publican Quality Bread, Chicago

Outstanding Bar Program
A restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence in cocktail, spirits, and/or beer service.

Anvil Bar & Refuge, Houston
Bar Agricole, San Francisco
Clyde Common, Portland OR
Cure, New Orleans
Kimball House, Decatur GA
Trick Dog, San Francisco

Outstanding Chef
A working chef in America whose career has set national industry standards and who has served as an inspiration to other food professionals. Must have been working as a chef for the past five years.

Ashley Christensen, Poole’s Diner, Raleigh NC
Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune, NYC
David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos CA
Christopher Kostow, The Restaurant at Meadowood | St. Helena CA
Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans

Outstanding Pastry Chef
A chef or baker who prepares desserts, pastries, or breads in a restaurant and who serves as a national standard bearer of excellence. Must have been working as a pastry chef or baker for the past five years.

Kelly Fields, Willa Jean, New Orleans
Meg Galus, Boka, Chicago
Margarita Manzke, République, Los Angeles
Dolester Miles, Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham AL
Diane Yang, Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis

Outstanding Restaurant
A restaurant in the United States that serves as a national standard bearer of consistent quality and excellence in food, atmosphere, and service. Must have been in operation 10 or more consecutive years.

Balthazar, NYC
Canlis, Seattle
Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder CO
Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham AL
Quince, San Francisco

Outstanding Restaurateur
A working restaurateur who sets high national standards in restaurant operations and entrepreneurship. Must have been in the restaurant business for at least 10 years. Must not have been nominated for a James Beard Foundation chef award in the past five years.

Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz, Boka Restaurant Group (Boka; GT Fish & Oyster; Girl & the Goat and others), Chicago
JoAnn Clevenger, Upperline), New Orleans
Ken Oringer (Uni; Little Donkey; Toro; and others), Boston
Caroline Styne, The Lucques Group (Lucques; a.o.c.; Tavern and others), Los Angeles
Ellen Yin, High Street Hospitality Group (Fork; High Street on Market; High Street on Hudson and others), Philadelphia

Outstanding Service
A restaurant in operation five or more years that demonstrates high standards of hospitality and service.

Boka, Chicago
Saison, San Francisco
Zahav, Philadelphia
Zingerman’s Delicatessen, Ann Arbor MI
Zuni Café, San Francisco

Outstanding Wine Program
A restaurant in operation five or more years that serves as a national standard bearer for excellence in wine service through a well-presented wine list, knowledgeable staff, and efforts to educate customers about wine.

a.o.c., Los Angeles
Bacchanal, New Orleans
Benu, San Francisco
FIG, Charleston SC
The Little Nell, Aspen CO

Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional
A beer, wine, or spirits professional who has had a significant national impact on the restaurant industry.

Cathy Corison (Corison Winery, St. Helena CA)
Diane Flynt (Foggy Ridge Cider, Dugspur VA)
Miljenko Grgich (Grgich Hills Estate, Rutherford CA)
Steve Matthiasson (Matthiasson Wines, Napa CA)
Lance Winters (St. George Spirits, Alameda CA)

Rising Star Chef of the Year
A chef age 30 or younger who displays an impressive talent and who is likely to make a significant impact on the industry in years to come.

Camille Cogswell (Zahav, Philadelphia)
Clare de Boer (King, NYC)
Sarah Rinkavage (Marisol, Chicago)
Miles Thompson (Michael’s, Santa Monica CA)
Kevin Tien, Himitsu (Washington D.C.)

Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH)
Andrew Brochu (Roister, Chicago)
Abraham Conlon (Fat Rice, Chicago)
Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark (Parachute, Chicago)
David Posey and Anna Posey (Elske, Chicago)
Lee Wolen (Boka, Chicago)

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (DC, DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)
Amy Brandwein (Centrolina, Washington D.C.)
Tom Cunanan (Bad Saint, Washington D.C.)
Rich Landau (Vedge, Philadelphia)
Jeremiah Langhorne (The Dabney, Washington D.C.)
Cindy Wolf (Charleston, Baltimore)

Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)
Karen Bell (Bavette La Boucherie, Milwaukee)
Steven Brown (Tilia, Minneapolis)
Justin Carlisle (Ardent, Milwaukee)
Gavin Kaysen (Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis)
Ann Kim (Young Joni, Minneapolis)

Best Chef: New York City
Amanda Cohen (Dirt Candy)
Ignacio Mattos (Estela)
Missy Robbins (Lilia)
Alex Stupak (Empellón Midtown)
Jody Williams (Buvette Gastrothèque)

Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY State, RI, VT)
Karen Akunowicz (Myers + Chang, Boston)
Tiffani Faison (Tiger Mama, Boston)
Tony Messina (Uni, Boston)
Cassie Piuma (Sarma, Somerville MA)
Benjamin Sukle (Oberlin, Providence)

Best Chef: Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY)
Edouardo Jordan (Salare, Seattle)
Katy Millard (Coquine, Portland OR)
Bonnie Morales (Kachka, Portland OR)
Justin Woodward (Castagna, Portland OR)
Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi (Joule, Seattle)
Best Chef: South (AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, Puerto Rico)
Vishwesh Bhatt (Snackbar, Oxford MS)
Nina Compton (Compère Lapin, New Orleans)
Jose Enrique (Jose Enrique, San Juan PR)
Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus (Coquette, New Orleans)
Brad Kilgore (Alter, Miami)
Slade Rushing (Brennan’s, New Orleans)

Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)
Mashama Bailey (The Grey, Savannah GA)
Katie Button (Nightbell, Asheville NC)
Cassidee Dabney (The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland TN)
Rodney Scott (Rodney Scott’s BBQ, Charleston SC)
Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman (Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Memphis)

Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, CO, NM, OK, TX, UT)
Michael Fojtasek (Olamaie, Austin)
Bryce Gilmore (Barley Swine, Austin)
Steve McHugh (Cured, San Antonio)
Martín Rios (Restaurant Martín, Santa Fe NM)
Alex Seidel (Mercantile Dining & Provision, Denver)

Best Chef: West (CA, HI, NV)
Michael Cimarusti (Providence, Los Angeles)
Dominique Crenn (Atelier Crenn, San Francisco)
Jeremy Fox (Rustic Canyon, Santa Monica CA)
Jessica Koslow (Sqirl, Los Angeles)
Travis Lett (Gjelina, Venice CA)

2018 James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America Inductees
These recipients and the following honorees will accept their awards at the James Beard Awards Gala on May 7 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Jody Adams
Chef/Owner, TRADE, Porto, and Saloniki
Lally Brennan and Ti Adelaide Martin
Co-proprietors, Commander’s Palace
New Orleans
Allison Hooper
Co-Founder/Owner, Vermont Creamery
Websterville, VT
Daniel Johnnes
Wine Director, The Dinex Group
New York City, NY

2018 James Beard Foundation America’s Classics
Sun Wah
Chicago, IL
Owners: Kelly Cheng, Laura Cheng and Michael Cheng
Galleria Umberto
Boston, MA
Owners: Paul Deuterio and Ralph Deuterio
Los Hernandez
Union Gap, WA
Owner: Felipe Hernandez
El Guero Canelo
Tucson, AZ
Owner: Daniel Contreras
Dong Phuong Bakery
New Orleans, LA
Owner: Linh Tran Garza

2018 James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year
José Andrés

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

How to Do London like a Royal

Just in time for the Royals’ nuptials on May 19, three London hotels are enticing you to create your own royal holiday.

If you plan ahead, you can score tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (virtually impossible to get in New York) or even Hamilton, which has taken the UK by storm and received more Olivier Award nominations than any other play in Olivier history (this year's awards are April 8).  Besides these blockbusters, you might want to consider Young Frankenstein, The Ferryman (a new play), and the remake of Dreamgirls.

To stay, you’ll want to choose one of these three ultra-luxe hotels, all part of the Starhotels Collezione. With their royal packages and royal settings, you’ll spend your time in London feeling as romantically linked as Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Touring in the Queen Mother’s favorite Jaguar Daimler limousine,  a romantic dinner by Michelin starred Chef Daniel Galmiche at The Gore London (with a bottle of Taittinger Brut Reserve Champagne), or dining in The Franklin London designed by Bond Girl Anouska Hempel are all possible with the Royal Experience package.  Accommodations are royal, of course, with a junior suite or Tudor Suite. Each of the collection’s three hotels, The Franklin, The Pelham and The Gore, can arrange the special program.

The 52-room Pelham London is an elegant boutique hotel in the heart of South Kensington, noted for its eclectic design and impeccable service. Within a grand English country home setting, replete with library and drawing room, you’ll find design elements that are refreshingly modern and urban with the use of metal, glass and colored furniture alongside old Indian and Tibetan fabrics, wood paneling, and antique furnishings. Luxurious Frette Italian linens, Penhaligon's toiletries and Samsung Smart TVs further the blend of old and new. The hotel is near Kensington Gardens, an easy connection to Heathrow via the underground. Complimentary Internet and international calls are a given.

For the past 125 years, The Gore London at Queens Gate in Kensington has been an icon of British hospitality. Even earlier, the building was a residence for visitors to London’s 1851 Great Exhibition under the patronage of Prince Albert, offering a place to stay in “the most fashionable area of the city” at that time. The Gore is located near to many of London’s famous cultural and leisure attractions including Hyde Park’s flower beds, the Natural History Museum’s collections, and the Royal Albert Hall. The exterior and interiors blend Tudor and Victorian English mood with red brick and terracotta on the outside facades, and red carpets, chandeliers, and tapestries together with 18th and 19th-century classical paintings inside. Each of the five floors is filled with period details and hand-picked furniture and art pieces, as are the 50 lavish rooms and suites. Luxurious touches include Frette linens and Penhaligon’s toiletries. The Tudor Suite is a masterpiece among accommodations with a mahogany four-poster bed, a 15th-century minstrels’ gallery, stained glass windows, stone fireplace and high oak-beamed ceilings.

The Franklin is set on a quiet residential street, surrounded by Egerton Gardens in one of London’s most prestigious neighborhoods. The hotel is spread across four early Victorian buildings and is a short walk to Harrods and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Surrounding the hotel are private lawns, trees and gardens. The original house dates back to the 1840s, designed as part of the Egerton Crescent, designed by Georgian architect George Basevi. The hotel was completely renovated in 2016 by renowned designer Anouska Hempel, New Zealand-born British starchitect known as “Lady Weinberg” in the design and architecture world. The hotel’s renovation was intended to create a townhouse feeling with a distinctively dramatic and whimsical style that melds Italian with English sensibilities, effecting a Victorian townhouse that feels like an Italian palazzo.

For theater bookings, the hotels’ Clef d’ors concierges can work some royal magic of their own to secure tickets.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

It's an Indoor Block Party and Open Market in the Meatpacking District - March 8 in NYC

Love Downtown? Here’s a delicious event to put on your calendar. The Meatpacking District Business Improvement District will be holding their annual ‘indoor block party’ and fundraiser Open Market at Highline Stages, 441 West 14th Street, New York City on March 8, 2018 from 6:30pm – 10:30pm to celebrate the local business community.

The event is all about shopping, dining , drinking and community… all under one booth. Open Market raises funds that go towards the sanitation and beautification of the Meatpacking District.

You can expect 25+ area restaurants and bars, sample sale shopping from high-end retailers, entry into the silent auction, and music by Coco and Breezy.  Fashionistas can purchase VIP tickets offer early access to shop the sample sales, an exclusive hospitality experience by SoHo House, a buy-it-now option for the silent auction, a gift bag filled will brand products, and guaranteed access to the VIP after party at TAO Downtown.

Four area VIPs serve as co-chairs for Open Market: Diane von Furstenberg, Founder and Co-Chairman of DVF; Andrew Rosen, Founder and CEO of Theory; Gary Kline, Co-Owner and CEO of Highline Stages; and Mazdack Rassi, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Milk. In addition, they will be joined by a host committee that includes a who’s who of the Meatpacking District and its supporters. 

Participants include:

Food & Drink:  L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Santina, Corkbuzz, Megu, Sixpoint, The Standard Biergarten, Bagatelle, Bodega Negra, Fig & Olive, Catch, La Sirena, TAO Downtown, Sherry B Dessert Studio, SoHo House, Bubby’s, STK Downtown and more

Fashion & Retail: Theory, Rag & Bone, DVF, Alice & Olivia, Helmut Lang, Lilla P, The Kooples, Trina Turk/Mr Turk and more!

Technology & Lifestyle: Samsung, Lexus, Caudalie, Kikkerland, Chelsea Market Baskets, and more

General Admission tickets are $150 and include a $25 shopping credit value during Open Market. VIP tickets are available for $350 and include a $50 shopping credit. For tickets,