The James Beard Foundation announced the finalist nominees for the broadcast, journalism, book, chef, and restaurant awards this morning in Chicago. Two of the most coveted awards: The James Beard Humanitarian of the Year award and Lifetime Achievement Awards will be going to Matt Haley from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and Sirio Maccioni of Le Cirque in New York, respectively. The James Beard awards are highly coveted by chefs, writers, restaurateurs, and considered the equivalent of getting an Oscar for their contributions to the culinary world.
“We are excited to return to Chicago for this year’s finalist announcement, and The Publican, our 2013 Outstanding Chef Award-winner Paul Kahan’s restaurant, is the perfect setting as we celebrate the city’s thriving culinary industry,” said Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation.
The best new restaurant category nominees are Betony in New York, Carbone in New York, Coqueta in San Francisco, Estela in New York and Peche Seafood Grill in New Orleans. For the younger nominees (under age 30), James Beard recognizes the Rising Star Chef of the Year. The nominees are Jimmy Bannos Jr. of the Purple Pig in Chicago, Katie Button of Curate in North Carolina, Jessica Largey of Manresa in California, David Posey of Blackbird in Chicago and Blaine Wetzel from The Willows Inn on Lummi Island in Washington.
For Best Chef in New York, it was no surprise that April Bloomfield of the Spotted Pig, Dan Kluger of ABC Kitchen, Marc Ladner of Del Posto, Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto, and Michael White of Marea received nominations.
Outstanding Pastry Chef nods went to Dominique Ansel of Ansel’s Bakery, Dana Cree of Blackbird in Chicago, Belinda Leong of b. patisserie in San Francisco, Dahlia Narvaez of Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles, and Christina Tossi of Momofuku in New York.
For those who have been in the business for 10 years or more, the nominees for Best Restaurant are: Hearth in New York, Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham, Ala., The Slanted Door in San Francisco, Spiaggia in Chicago, and wd~50 in New York.
And finally, there is the coveted Outstanding Chef award. These nominees are households names who have been working in the business for 5 or more years: Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern, Sean Brock of McCrady’s in Charleston, S.C., Suzanne Goin of Lucques in Los Angeles, David Kinch of Manresa in Los Gatos, California, Nancy Silverton of Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles, and Marc Vetri of Vetri in Philadelphia.
Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her of Twitter @JoannaFantozzi