The James Beard Foundation (JBF) on Monday announced its 2020 class of restaurant award nominees, during a time in which independent restaurants have suffered unprecedented losses due to the coronavirus pandemic. The nominee announcements came the same day on which the Beard Awards ceremony was to have taken place in Chicago. The ceremony was postponed due to COVID-19 and is now scheduled to be presented in Chicago on Sept. 25.
“The feedback was that announcing the nominees would be some welcome good news,” Clare Reichenbach, JBF CEO said during the livestream awards broadcast. “Our focus is on how we keep restaurants open for good and how we build back better.”
The awards, which have been presented since 1990, are highly regarded in the industry and recognize excellence among independent operators in food, drink, service, restaurant design and more.
Here are the finalists in the major categories. The full list of nominees can be found here.
Best New Restaurant
Automatic Seafood & Oysters; Birmingham, Ala.
Eem; Portland, Ore.
Fox & The Knife; Boston
Gado Gado; Portland, Ore.
Gianna Restaurant; New Orleans
Nightshade; Los Angeles
Pasjoli; Santa Monica, Calif.
Verjus; San Francisco
Graison Gill; Bellegarde Bakery; New Orleans
Zachary Golper; Bien Cuit; New York City
Maura Kilpatrick; Sofra Bakery; Cambridge, Mass.
Lisa Ludwinski; Sister Pie; Detroit
Avery Ruzicka; Manresa Bread; Los Gatos, Calif.
David Kinch; Manresa; Los Gatos, Calif
Corey Lee; Benu; San Francisco
Donald Link; Herbsaint; New Orleans
Missy Robbins; Lilia; New York City
Ana Sortun; Oleana; Cambridge, Mass.
Marc Vetri; Vetri Cucina; Philadelphia
Outstanding Pastry Chef
Lincoln Carson; Bon Temps; Los Angeles
Juan Contreras; Atelier Crenn; San Francisco
Margarita Manzke; Republique; Los Angeles
Diane Moua; Spoon and Stable; Minneapolis
Natasha Pickowicz; Flora Bar; New York City
Miro Uskokovic; Gramercy Tavern; New York City
FIG; Charleston, S.C.
Frasca Food and Wine; Boulder, Colo.
Jaleo; Washington, D.C.
Pizzeria Bianco; Phoenix
Quince; San Francisco
Paul Bartolotta; The Bartolotta Restaurants (Ristorante Bartolotta, Harbor House, Lake Park Bistro, and others); Milwaukee
Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer; JK Food Group (Little Donkey, Toro, Coppa); Boston
JoAnn Clevenger; Upperline Restaurant; New Orleans
Alex Raij and Eder Montero; La Vara, Saint Julivert Fisherie, Txikito; New York City
Jason Wang; Xi'an Famous Foods; New York City
Brigtsen’s; New Orleans
Saison; San Francisco
Swan Oyster Depot; San Francisco
Zingerman’s Roadhouse; Ann Arbor, Mich.
Rising Star Chef of the Year
Will Aghajanian and Liz Johnson; The Catbird Seat; Nashville
Irene Li; Mei Mei; Boston
Gaby Maeda; State Bird Provisions; San Francisco
Ashleigh Shanti; Benne on Eagle; Asheville, N.C.
Paola Velez; Kith/Kin; Washington, D.C.
Jon Yao; Kato; Los Angeles
Outstanding Bar Program
Anvil Bar & Refuge; Houston
Kimball House; Decatur, Ga.
Lost Lake; Chicago
Trick Dog; San Francisco