The James Beard Foundation on Wednesday announced its 2019 class of restaurant award nominees, six months after approving widespread policy changes to boost gender, race and ethnic representation among recipients and judges.
The awards, which have been presented since 1990, are highly regarded in the industry and recognize excellence in food, drink, service, restaurant design and more.
Changes to the James Beard Foundation Awards process come as the industry deals with widespread reports of harassment and discrimination, and include increasing diversity on awards committees and weighing “restaurant culture and leadership values” when selecting winners, according to the foundation.
Winners will be announced during an awards ceremony in Chicago on May 6.
Here are the finalists in the major categories. The full list of nominees can be found here.
Best New Restaurant
- Angler; San Francisco
- Atomix; New York City
- Bavel; Los Angeles
- Frenchette; New York City
- Majordomo; Los Angeles
- Zachary Golper; Bien Cuit; New York City
- Maura Kilpatrick; Sofra Bakery and Cafe; Cambridge, Mass.
- Lisa Ludwinski; Sister Pie; Detroit
- Avery Ruzicka; Manresa Bread; Los Gatos, Calif.
- Greg Wade; Publican Quality Bread; Chicago
- Ashley Christensen; Poole’s Diner; Raleigh. N.C.
- David Kinch; Manresa; Los Gatos, Calif.
- Corey Lee; Benu; San Franciso
- Donald Link; Herbsaint; New Orleans
- Marc Vetri; Vetri Cucina; Philadelphia
Outstanding Pastry Chef
- Juan Contreras; Atelier Crenn; San Francisco
- Kelly Fields; Willa Jean; New Orleans
- Meg Galus; Boka; Chicago
- Margarita Manzke; Republique; Los Angeles
- Pichet Ong; Brothers and Sisters; Washington, D.C.
- Balthazar; New York City
- FIG; Charleston, S.C.
- Jaleo; Washington, D.C.
- Zahav; Philadelphia
- Hugh Acheson; Empire State South, Five & Ten, The National and others; Atlanta
- Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz; Boka Restaurant Group (Boka, Girl & the Goat, Momotaro and others); Chicago
- JoAnn Clevenger; Upperline; New Orleans
- Ken Oringer; Little Donkey, Toro, Uni and others; Boston
- Alex Raij and Eder Montero; La Vara, Txikito, Saint Julivert Fisherie and others; New York City
- Ellen Yin; High Street Hospitality Group (Fork, High Street on Market, High Street on Hudson); Philadelphia
- Brigtsen’s; New Orleans
- Canlis; Seattle
- Frasca Food and Wine; Boulder, Colo.
- Saison; San Francisco
- Swan Oyster Depot; San Francisco
- Zingerman’s Roadhouse; Ann Arbor, Mich.
Rising Star Chef of the Year
- Ana Castro; Coquette; New Orleans
- Alisha Elenz; MFK; Chicago
- Alexander Hong; Sorrel; San Francisco
- Jesse Ito; Royal Izakaya; Philadelphia
- Kwame Onwuachi; Kith and Kin; Washington, D.C.
- Jonathan Yao; Kato; Los Angeles
Outstanding Bar Program
- Bar Agricole; San Francisco
- Dead Rabbit; New York City
- Kimball House; Decatur, Ga.
- Lost Lake; Chicago
- Ticonderoga Club; Atlanta