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


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