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2020 James Beard Foundation Awards nominees announced

The announcement comes on the same day as the awards were to be presented in a gala ceremony in Chicago, an event that was postponed due to the coronavirus.

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.

Demi; Minneapolis

Eem; Portland, Ore.

Fox & The Knife; Boston

Gado Gado; Portland, Ore.

Gianna Restaurant; New Orleans

Kalaya; Philadelphia

Nightshade; Los Angeles

Pasjoli; Santa Monica, Calif.

Verjus; San Francisco


Outstanding Baker

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.


Outstanding Chef

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


Outstanding Restaurant

FIG; Charleston, S.C.

Frasca Food and Wine; Boulder, Colo.

Jaleo; Washington, D.C.

Pizzeria Bianco; Phoenix

Quince; San Francisco


Outstanding Restaurateur

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


Outstanding Service

Brigtsen’s; New Orleans

Canlis; Seattle

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

Expatriate; Portland

Kimball House; Decatur, Ga.

Lost Lake; Chicago

Trick Dog; San Francisco


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