James Beard Foundation
Awards season has returned for the James Beard Foundation, kicking off with the announcement in New York this week of the James Beard award semi-finalists for the restaurant categories. From awards that honor newcomers to the industry like Best New Restaurant and Rising Star Chef to accolades for titans of the industry like Outstanding Restaurant and the Best Regional Chef, the James Beard Awards recognize the best of the best across the country.
Finalists for both the restaurant and media awards will be announced on March 15 in Los Angeles, with the awards themselves to follow at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on May 1. The Media Awards will be presented on April 25 on Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City.
This year, notable semi-finalists for the Best New Restaurant category include Le Coucou in New York, Olmstead in Brooklyn, and Gwen in Los Angeles, all of whom were among The Daily Meal’s picks for best new restaurants in 2016. For Outstanding Bar Program, The Dead Rabbit in New York has again been nominated, along with The Standby in Detroit.
For Outstanding Chef, Andrew Carmellini of Locanda Verde, Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune , and Mark Ladner (formerly of Del Posto), all in New York City, as well as Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia in Chicago and Daniel Patterson of Coi in San Francisco (as well as LocoL in Los Angeles and Oakland, which made headlines last month after a “food fight” with New York Times critic Pete Wells, who awarded the Oakland location of the popular socially-conscious eatery no stars).
The Outstanding Restaurant category was peppered with well-known names, like Jose Andres’ Jaleo in Washington, D.C.; L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Las Vegas; Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York City; Quince in San Francisco; and The Spotted Pig in New York. Rising Star Chefs of the Year semi-finalists included Zachary Engel of Alon Shaya’s Shaya in New Orleans (our 2015 Restaurant of the Year), Bradley Kilgor of Alter in Miami, and Jenner Tomaska of Grant Achatz’s Next in Chicago.