When it comes to restaurant and hospitality industry honors, the James Beard Foundation Awards are about as iconic as apple pie, as institutional as Richard Melman’s Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises or as trendy as bone broth.
This year’s list of finalists, revealed this morning at the James Beard House in New York City, is no exception.
The 2015 James Beard Foundation Awards will celebrate its 25th anniversary in a new location, but the finalists for these iconic awards remain, as always, a list of the best and brightest in the industry. For the first time in its history, the winners of the James Beard Foundation Chef and Restaurant awards will be announced outside of New York during the May 4 awards ceremony at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
While some categories include a cross-section of the country, New York City institutions and previous winners dominated other areas of the industry’s top honors.
The finalists for the Best New Restaurant category reads like a culinary road trip with two New Yorkers—Bâtard and Cosme—sharing the limelight with Central Provisions in Portland, Maine, Parachute in Chicago, Los Angeles’ Petit Trois, The Progress in San Francisco and Minneapolis’ Spoon and Stable.
The same goes for Rising Chef of the Year list, which includes only one nominee from last year—Jessica Largey of Manresa in Los Gatos, Calif.—in a field of newcomers. The other nominees are Tanya Baker of Boarding House in Chicago, Alex Bois of High Street on Market in Philadelphia, Erik Bruner-Yang, Toki Underground in Washington, D.C., Cara Stadler of Tao Yuan in Brunswick, Maine and Ari Taymor from Los Angeles’ Alma.
New York City institutions dominated the Outstanding Restaurant category, with Momofuku Noodle Bar, Per Se and The Spotted Pig headlining the list, along with and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, N.Y., and Highlands Bar and Grill, Birmingham, Ala.
The Outstanding Chef category includes a slew of James Beard award winners: Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern in New York City, Sean Brock of Husk in Charleston, S.C., chef and restaurateur Suzanne Goin of Lucques in Los Angeles, Donald Link from New Orleans’ Herbsaint and Marc Vetri of Vetri in Philadelphia.
Here’s the entire list of finalists:
Best New Restaurant
Bâtard, New York City
Central Provisions, Portland, Maine.
Cosme, New York City
Petit Trois, Los Angeles
The Progress, San Francisco
Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis
Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery + Cafe, Boston
Mark Furstenberg, Bread Furst, Washington, D.C.
Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery, New York City
Belinda Leong and Michel Suas, B. Patisserie, San Francisco
William Werner, Craftsman and Wolves, San Francisco
Outstanding Bar Program
Arnaud's French 75 Bar, New Orleans
Bar Agricole, San Francisco
Maison Premiere, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Trick Dog, San Francisco
The Violet Hour, Chicago
Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern, New York City
Sean Brock, Husk, Charleston, S.C.
Suzanne Goin, Lucques, Los Angeles
Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans
Marc Vetri, Vetri, Philadelphia
Outstanding Pastry Chef
Dana Cree, Blackbird, Chicago
Maura Kilpatrick, Oleana, Cambridge, Mass.
Dahlia Narvaez, Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles
Ghaya Oliveira, Daniel, New York City
Christina Tosi, Momofuku, New York City
Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, N.Y.
Highlands Bar and Grill, Birmingham, Ala.
Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York City
Per Se, New York City
The Spotted Pig, New York City
JoAnn Clevenger, Upperline, New Orleans
Donnie Madia, One Off Hospitality Group, Chicago (Blackbird, Avec, The Publican, and others)
Michael Mina, Mina Group, San Francisco (Michael Mina, RN74, Bourbon Steak, and others)
Cindy Pawlcyn, Napa, Calif. (Mustards Grill, Cindy's Back Street Kitchen, and Cindy's Waterfront at the Monterey Bay Aquarium)
Stephen Starr, Starr Restaurants, Philadelphia (The Dandelion, Talula's Garden, Serpico, and others)
The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tenn.
Marea, New York City
Quince, San Francisco
Restaurant August, New Orleans
Outstanding Wine Program
A16, San Francisco
Bern's Steak House, Tampa, Fla.
FIG, Charleston, S.C.
McCrady's, Charleston, S.C.
Spago, Beverly Hills, Calif.
Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional
Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, Del.
Ron Cooper, Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal, Ranchos de Taos, N.M.
Ted Lemon, Littorai Wines, Sebastopol, Calif.
Rajat Parr, Mina Group, San Francisco
Harlen Wheatley, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, Ky.
Rising Star Chef of the Year
Tanya Baker, Boarding House, Chicago
Alex Bois, High Street on Market, Philadelphia
Erik Bruner-Yang, Toki Underground, Washington, D.C.
Jessica Largey, Manresa, Los Gatos, Calif.
Cara Stadler, Tao Yuan, Brunswick, Maine
Ari Taymor, Alma, Los Angeles
Best Chef: Great Lakes
Curtis Duffy, Grace, Chicago
Jonathon Sawyer, Greenhouse Tavern, Cleveland
Paul Virant, Vie, Western Springs, Ill.
Erling Wu-Bower, Nico Osteria, Chicago
Andrew Zimmerman, Sepia, Chicago
Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
Joe Cicala, Le Virtù, Philadelphia
Spike Gjerde, Woodberry Kitchen, Baltimore
Rich Landau, Vedge, Philadelphia
Greg Vernick, Vernick Food & Drink, Philadelphia
Cindy Wolf, Charleston, Baltimore
Best Chef: Midwest
Paul Berglund, The Bachelor Farmer, Minneapolis
Justin Carlisle, Ardent, Milwaukee
Gerard Craft, Niche, Clayton, Mo.
Michelle Gayer, Salty Tart, Minneapolis
Lenny Russo, Heartland Restaurant & Farm Direct Market, St. Paul, Minn.
Best Chef: Northeast
Karen Akunowicz, Myers + Chang, Boston
Barry Maiden, Hungry Mother, Cambridge, Mass.
Masa Miyake, Miyake, Portland, Maine
Cassie Piuma, Sarma, Somerville, Mass.
Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley, Eventide Oyster Co., Portland, Maine
Best Chef: Northwest
Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton, Ox, Portland, Ore.
Renee Erickson, The Whale Wins, Seattle
Blaine Wetzel, The Willows Inn on Lummi Island, Lummi Island, Wash.
Justin Woodward, Castagna, Portland, Ore.
Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule, Seattle
Best Chef: New York City (Five Boroughs)
Marco Canora, Hearth
Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi, Carbone
Mark Ladner, Del Posto
Anita Lo, Annisa
Ignacio Mattos, Estela
Jonathan Waxman, Barbuto
Best Chef: South
Vishwesh Bhatt, Snackbar, Oxford, Miss.
Justin Devillier, La Petite Grocery, New Orleans
Jose Enrique, Jose Enrique, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Slade Rushing, Brennan's, New Orleans
Alon Shaya, Domenica, New Orleans
Best Chef: Southeast
John Fleer, Rhubarb, Asheville, N.C.
Edward Lee, 610 Magnolia, Louisville, Ky.
Steven Satterfield, Miller Union, Atlanta
Jason Stanhope, FIG, Charleston, S.C.
Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Memphis, Tenn.
Tandy Wilson, City House, Nashville, Tenn.
Best Chef: Southwest
Kevin Binkley, Binkley’s, Cave Creek, Ariz.
Aaron Franklin, Franklin Barbecue, Austin, Texas
Bryce Gilmore, Barley Swine, Austin, Texas
Hugo Ortega, Hugo’s, Houston
Martín Rios, Restaurant Martín, Santa Fe, N.M.
Justin Yu, Oxheart, Houston
Best Chef: West
Matthew Accarrino, SPQR, San Francisco
Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, State Bird Provisions, San Francisco
Michael Cimarusti, Providence, Los Angeles
Corey Lee, Benu, San Francisco
Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Animal, Los Angeles
2015 James Beard Foundation America’s Classics
Archie’s Waeside, Le Mars, Iowa
Owner: Robert Rand
Beaumont Inn, Harrodsburg, Ky.
Owners: Elizabeth and Dixon Dedman, Helen and
Guelaguetza, Los Angeles
Owners: The Lopez Family
Sally Bell’s Kitchen, Richmond, Va.
Owners: Martha Crowe Jones and Scott Jones
Sevilla Restaurant, New York City
Owners: Jose Lloves and Bienvenido Alvarez
2015 James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America Inductees
Pork Producer and Purveyor
New York City
Chef and Restaurateur
New York City
Cookbook Author and Television Personality
Chef, Restaurateur, and Cookbook Author
2015 James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year
CEO, President and Co-Founder of Wholesome Wave
2015 James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award
Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises