Beard Me

Here are the semifinalists for the 2016 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards

It's awards season—no, not for you, Leo. We mean for the top chefs, bartenders, somms, pastry chefs, bakers, general managers and others who woke up this morning to find out they've been nominated as semifinalists for the 2016 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards.

The list is epic and exciting, long and clearly a lot to sort out but not infallible or completely all encompassing. And when it hit in our inboxes, we immediately clicked and dove in.

Here are our observations—as well as the full list of semifinalists below.

Karen Palmer, Editorial Director: My fellow food editors and I bemoaned the lack of truly exciting, must-visit-again new restaurants in NYC in 2015, so it's interesting that the two picks on the Best New Restaurants list are both "casual" in concept: Fabian von Hauske and Jeremiah Stone's smashing wine bar Wildair and Brooks Headley's Superiority Burger. Mad props to some of the smaller cities that made this group: I may have to make a trip to Hazel Park, Michigan, and University City, Missouri.

Excited to see the ladies represented in the Rising Star Chef of the Year category, especially Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson of Madcapra in L.A., whose attention to detail and thoughtfulness blows me away; Elise Kornack, who is making truly delicious food out of a postage stamp-size kitchen at Brooklyn's Take Root; and Angela Dimayuga, who keeps Mission Chinese Food in NYC interesting and fresh at all times. It's disappointing that there aren't more women in all of the categories, to be fair, but perhaps there's hope for the future with these up-and-comers.

And lastly, there's been so much buzz about the food in L.A. that I'll be interested to see if a Los Angeles chef snatches the Best Chef: West award from the grips of the Bay Area.

Kat Kinsman, Editor at Large: Gotta get this out of the way—are there really and truly no female chefs doing outstanding work in the Midwest? Just one in the Mid-Atlantic and a handful in some of the other regions? I find that difficult to imagine. I travel around the country pretty constantly and am finding no shortage of stellar food made by women. Judges: Look harder. Restaurateurs: Fund female-run kitchens. Thanks.

Zero shock to me that my favorite two new restaurants of 2015—Death & Taxes and Shaya—are up for Best New Restaurant, and I'm fascinated that Intro, which by design has a rotating roster of chefs, made the cut. If that takes the top award, it'll be a really interesting message of concept over an individual chef's vision. I have a personal crush on the Staplehouse mission, which was born out of tragedy and now makes it a mission to help out service industry people in crisis. And if Superiority Burger takes it, I think every high-end restaurant in NYC will burn its linen and weld all the flatware into the shape of desks. (And, man, will the vegans never shut up.)

Devra Ferst, Senior Editor: I'm excited to see The Dabney for Best New Restaurant. Jeremiah Langhorne's mission to develop a modern Mid-Atlantic cuisine is ambitious, but I think we will have to wait some time to see how that plays out. Meanwhile, I'm also glad to see Shaya on this list. Alon Shaya is cooking some of the most exciting Middle Eastern food anywhere in the world. He's managed to pull influences from three seemingly incongruous cuisines (Israel, Italy and New Orleans) into a cohesive concept. His spot is well earned.

A number of the restaurants are quite casual, which is refreshing. Great dining shouldn't have to be formal, and more and more, diners and the industry are accepting that. Perhaps nothing speaks to that more than Superiority Burger with its scant seating and counter service. But when service plays into the equation, can we compare counter service with a full-service restaurant? I'm not quite sure.

As for Outstanding Restaurant, spotting Frankies 457 on the list is a pleasant surprise. Not all great restaurants need flash or to constantly push the envelope. There's merit in executing a delicious and simple idea well.

Jake Cohen, Food Editor: I unfortunately haven't done a ton of domestic travel in the U.S. outside of the East Coast. This list fuels future road trips across the country to eat my way through regions I've yet to visit. (Especially New Orleans, which is next on my list.)

I'm rooting for Melissa Weller of Sadelle's in NYC. She's a babka magician, and I'm a big fan. Same goes for Michael Solomonov at Zahav in Philadelphia. The way he has raised the bar for Israeli cuisine is admirable.

Elyse Inamine, Editor: 808, represent! Finally, Hawaii is adequately repped post-HRC movement with real stunners like San Francisco's white-hot Liholiho Yacht Club and thoughtful, community-oriented chefs like Ed Kenney and pastry chef Michelle Karr-Ueoka, both from Honolulu. It is such an exciting time to be a chef on the islands, and clearly this is just the beginning. Overall, the regional categories continue to be so dude heavy—save for Pacific Northwest and Northeast—so I'm with Kat (no more "Gods of Food"!). And maybe it's because I love carbs and sugar and butter, but my brain always darts first to the pastry chef and baker nominations, and how exciting it is that Alex Bois, the bread genius at High Street on Market in Philadelphia, is on the Rising Star list and not baker! It indeed is a good time for bread.

Alison Spiegel, Senior Writer: I'm excited to see Tanoreen chef Rawia Bishara on the Best Chef for NYC list, and Pittsburgh-based baker Rick Easton up for Outstanding Baker. I'm also excited to see so much representation from Boston and Cambridge.

Rising Star of the Year is always the most exciting category. I'm so happy to see rock star chef Angela Dimayuga of Mission Chinese, as well as Sarah Hymanson and Sara Kramer of Madcapra.

In the Outstanding Restaurant category, it's great to see NYC staples Momofuku Noodle Bar and The Spotted Pig on the list again—showing that our insatiable appetite for what's new doesn't always cloud our recognition of what's still great. Most exciting for NYC-based restaurants in this category is that this year another longtime standout, Frankies Spuntino, made the cut. Poor Per Se was left out this year (surprise, surprise). All that said, I'm surprised some newer restaurants didn't make the list over others (like Craft?).

Atlanta: so hot right now. Detroit: real cold.

Abby Reisner, Editorial Assistant: I'm mostly selfishly excited about personal favorites, like the two Oleana mentions, Bien Cuit's lovely and talented Zach Golper and Tandy Wilson. I'm convinced this will be his year—Wilson 2016!

If anything, the list reignites the the slow-burning wick in me that wants to travel around America based solely on restaurants. It's always nice when someone makes a list ​for ​you, no thought required, and I feel excited to see names that have surfaced. The "destination eats" note on my phone is about to exponentially grow.

I'm coming for you, Philly. Fork in hand and stretchy pants on.

Here are the nominees:

Best New Restaurant

A restaurant opened in the calendar year before the award will be given that already displays excellence in food, beverage, and service, and that is likely to make a significant impact in years to come.

Alter, Miami

Bardot Brasserie, Las Vegas

The Blanchard, Chicago

Bracero Cocina de Raíz, San Diego

Cala, San Francisco

Cassia, Santa Monica, CA

Coquine, Portland, OR

The Dabney, Washington, D.C.

Death & Taxes, Raleigh, NC

Eloisa, Santa Fe

Girin Steakhouse & Ssam Bar, Seattle

Helen Greek Food and Wine, Houston

The Honey Paw, Portland, ME

Intro, Chicago

Kinship, Washington, D.C.

Launderette, Austin

Liholiho Yacht Club, San Francisco

Mabel Gray, Hazel Park, MI

Morcilla, Pittsburgh

Público, University City, MO

Shaya, New Orleans

Shepard, Cambridge, MA

Staplehouse, Atlanta

Superiority Burger, NYC

Wildair, NYC

OUTSTANDING BAKER

A chef or baker who prepares breads, pastries or desserts in a retail bakery, and who serves as a national standard-bearer of excellence. Must have been a baker or pastry chef for at least five years.

Robert Alexander, The General Muir, Atlanta

Evan Andres, Columbia City Bakery, Seattle

Kim Boyce, Bakeshop, Portland, OR

Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery + Café, Boston

Andre Chin and Amanda Eap, Artisan Boulanger Patissier, Philadelphia

Rick Easton, Bread and Salt, Pittsburgh

Mark Furstenberg, Bread Furst, Washington, D.C.

Michelle Gayer, Salty Tart, Minneapolis

Zachary Golper, Bien Cuit, Brooklyn, NY

Marie Jackson, The Flaky Tart, Atlantic Highlands, NJ

John Kraus, Patisserie 46, Minneapolis

Phoebe Lawless, Scratch Bakery, Durham, NC

Belinda Leong and Michel Suas, B. Patisserie, San Francisco

Cheryl Maffei and Jonathan Stevens, Hungry Ghost Bread, Northampton, MA

Dave and Megan Miller, Baker Miller Bakery & Millhouse, Chicago

Moshit Mizrachi-Gabbitas, Janjou Pâtisserie, Boise, ID

Sarah O'Brien, The Little Tart, Atlanta

Lionel Vatinet, La Farm Bakery, Cary, NC

Melissa Weller, Sadelle's, NYC

William Werner, Craftsman and Wolves, San Francisco

Outstanding Bar Program

A restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence in cocktail, spirits and/or beer service.

Anvil Bar & Refuge, Houston

Arnaud's French 75 Bar, New Orleans

Bar Agricole, San Francisco

Barmini, Washington, D.C.

Café ArtScience, Cambridge, MA

Canon, Seattle

Clyde Common, Portland, OR

Cure, New Orleans

Kimball House, Decatur, GA

Lost Lake, Chicago

Maison Premiere, Brooklyn, NY

Mockingbird Hill, Washington, D.C.

The Patterson House, Nashville

Polite Provisions, San Diego

The Olde Bar, Philadelphia

Row 34, Boston

The Side Project Cellar, Maplewood, MO

Tired Hands Fermentaria, Ardmore, PA

Trick Dog, San Francisco

The Varnish, Los Angeles

Outstanding Chef

A working chef in America whose career has set national industry standards and who has served as an inspiration to other food professionals. Eligible candidates must have been working as a chef for the past five years.

Sean Brock, Husk, Nashville

Andrew Carmellini, Locanda Verde, NYC

Ashley Christensen, Poole's Downtown Diner, Raleigh, NC

Tyson Cole, Uchi, Austin

Matt Dillon, Bar Sajor, Seattle

Suzanne Goin, Lucques, Los Angeles

Jennifer Jasinski, Rioja, Denver

David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA

Christopher Kostow, The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, CA

Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans

Tony Mantuano, Spiaggia, Chicago

Tory Miller, L'Etoile, Madison, WI

Carrie Nahabedian, Naha, Chicago

Nancy Oakes, Boulevard, San Francisco

Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon, Portland, OR

Michael Solomonov, Zahav, Philadelphia

Ana Sortun, Oleana, Cambridge, MA

Jerry Traunfeld, Poppy, Seattle

Michael Tusk, Quince, San Francisco

Marc Vetri, Vetri, Philadelphia

Outstanding Pastry Chef

A chef or baker who prepares desserts, pastries or breads in a restaurant, and who serves as a national standard bearer of excellence. Must have been a pastry chef or baker for the past five years.

Antonio Bachour, The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, Bal Harbour, FL

Aggie Chin, The Grill Room, Washington, D.C.

Melissa Chou, Mourad, San Francisco

Juan Contreras, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco

Kelly Fields, Willa Jean, New Orleans

Meg Galus, Boka, Chicago

Kate Jacoby, Vedge, Philadelphia

Michelle Karr-Ueoka, MW Restaurant, Honolulu

Maura Kilpatrick, Oleana, Cambridge, MA

Margarita Manzke, République, Los Angeles

Dolester Miles, Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, AL

Junko Mine, Café Juanita, Kirkland, WA

Kristen Murray, Maurice, Portland, OR

Kimiko Nishimura, Tomo, Atlanta

Dahlia Narvaez, Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles

Ghaya Oliveira, Daniel, NYC

Laura Sawicki, Launderette, Austin

Cynthia Wong, Rhubarb, Asheville, NC

Diane Yang, Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis

Jennifer Yee, Lafayette, NYC

Outstanding Restaurant

A restaurant in the United States that serves as a national standard bearer of consistent quality and excellence in food, atmosphere and service. Eligible restaurants must have been in operation 10 or more consecutive years.

A.O.C., Los Angeles

Acquerello, San Francisco

Alinea, Chicago

Bluestem, Kansas City, MO

Craft, NYC

Five & Ten, Athens, GA

Fore Street, Portland, ME

Foreign Cinema, San Francisco

Fork, Philadelphia

Frankies 457, Brooklyn, NY

Frasca Food & Wine, Boulder, CO

Highlands Bar and Grill, Birmingham, AL

Jaleo, Washington, D.C.

Lark, Seattle

Momofuku Noodle Bar, NYC

Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix

Providence, Los Angeles

Rasika, Washington, D.C.

Restaurant Gary Danko, San Francisco

The Spotted Pig, NYC

Outstanding Restaurateur

A working restaurateur who sets high national standards in restaurant operations and entrepreneurship. Candidates must have been in the restaurant business for at least 10 years. Candidates must not have won a James Beard Foundation chef award in the past five years.

Ashok Bajaj, Knightsbridge Restaurant Group, Washington, D.C. (The Bombay Club, The Oval Room, Rasika, and others)

Elizabeth Blau and Kim Canteenwalla, Blau and Associates, Las Vegas (Honey Salt, Made LV, Andiron, and others)

Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz, Boka Restaurant Group, Chicago (Boka, Girl & the Goat, Momotaro, Swift & Sons, and others)

Frank Bonanno, Bonanno Concepts, Denver (Mizuna, Luca, Osteria Marco, and others)

Roy Choi, Los Angeles (Chego, Sunny Spot, A-Frame, Pot, LocoL)

JoAnn Clevenger, Upperline, New Orleans

Sam Fox, Fox Restaurant Concepts, Phoenix (The Arrogant Butcher, Culinary Dropout, Olive & Ivy, and others)

Ken Friedman, NYC (The Spotted Pig, The Breslin, Tosca Café)

Ford Fry, Atlanta (The Optimist, St. Cecilia, State of Grace, and others)

Benjamin and Max Goldberg, Strategic Hospitality, Nashville (The Catbird Seat, Pinewood Social, The Patterson House, and others)

Garrett Harker, Boston (Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks, Island Creek Oyster Bar, Row 34, The Hawthorne, Branch Line)

Martha Hoover, Patachou Inc., Indianapolis (Café Patachou, Petite Chou Bistro, Napolese, and others)

Ouita Michel, Lexington, KY (Holly Hill Inn, Windy Corner, Wallace Station Deli, Smithtown Seafood, and others)

Michael Mina, Mina Restaurants, San Francisco (Michael Mina, Bourbon Steak, RN74, and others)

Cindy Pawlcyn, Napa, CA (Mustards Grill, Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen, Cindy's Waterfront at the Monterey Bay Aquarium)

Stephen Starr, Starr Restaurants, Philadelphia (Serpico, The Dandelion, Talula's Garden, and others)

Ethan Stowell, Ethan Stowell Restaurants, Seattle (Staple & Fancy, How to Cook a Wolf, Anchovies & Olives, and others)

Andrew Tarlow, Brooklyn, NY (Diner, Marlow & Sons, Reynard, and others)

Nate Tilden, Portland, OR (Clyde Common, Olympia Provisions, Spirit of 77, The Richmond)

Tracy Vaught, Houston (Hugo's, Caracol, Backstreet Café)

Outstanding Service

A restaurant in operation five or more years that demonstrates high standards of hospitality and service.

Aubergine at L'Auberge Carmel, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Bacchanalia, Atlanta

Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, NY

Brigtsen's, New Orleans

Café Juanita, Kirkland, WA

Charleston Grill, Charleston, SC

Eleven Madison Park, NYC

Komi, Washington, D.C.

L'Espalier, Boston

Marcel's by Robert Wiedmaier, Washington, D.C.

North Pond, Chicago

The Pass, Houston

Quince, San Francisco

Restaurant August, New Orleans

Saam at the Bazaar by José Andrés, Beverly Hills, CA

Saison, San Francisco

Stone Soup Cottage, Cottleville, MO

Strip-T's, Watertown, MA

Topolobampo, Chicago

Zahav, Philadelphia

Outstanding Wine Program

A restaurant in operation five or more years that serves as a standard bearer for excellence in wine service through a well-presented wine list, knowledgeable staff, and efforts to educate customers about wine.

Addison at the Grand Del Mar, San Diego

Benu, San Francisco

Bern's Steakhouse, Tampa, FL

Canlis, Seattle

Charleston, Baltimore

Commander's Palace, New Orleans

Element 47, The Little Nell, Aspen, CO

Empire State South, Atlanta

FIG, Charleston, SC

Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas at Las Colinas, Irving, TX

Jory Restaurant at the Allison Inn & Spa, Newberg, OR

Miller Union, Atlanta

Momofuku Ko, NYC

Nopa, San Francisco

Press, St. Helena, CA

The Red Hen, Washington, D.C.

Sepia, Chicago

Spago, Beverly Hills, CA

Studio at the Montage, Laguna Beach, CA

Wild Ginger, Seattle

Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional

A beer, wine or spirits professional who has made a significant national impact on the restaurant industry.

Mannie Berk, Rare Wine Co., Brisbane, CA

Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE

Wayne Carpenter, Skagit Valley Malting, Burlington, WA

Vinnie Cilurzo, Russian River Brewing Company, Santa Rosa, CA

Ron Cooper, Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal, Ranchos de Taos, NM

Rutger de Vink, RdV, Delaplane, VA

Diane Flynt, Foggy Ridge Cider, Dugspur, VA

Miljenko Grgich, Grgich Hills Estate, Rutherford, CA

Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, Evil Twin Brewing, Brooklyn, NY

Charles Joly, Crafthouse, Chicago

Jim Koch, The Boston Beer Company, Boston

Manfred Krankl, Sine Qua Non, Oak View, CA

Drew Kulsveen, Willett Distillery, Bardstown, KY

Ted Lemon, Littorai Wines, Sebastopol, CA

Steve Matthiasson, Matthiasson Wines, Napa, CA

Steve McCarthy, Clear Creek Distillery, Portland, OR

Aldo Sohm, Zalto Glass, NYC

Rob Tod, Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, ME

Harlen Wheatley, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, KY

Lance Winters, St. George Spirits, Alameda, CA

Rising Star Chef of the Year

A chef age 30 or younger who displays an impressive talent and who is likely to make a significant impact on the industry in years to come.

Doug Adams, Imperial, Portland, OR

Tanya Baker, Boarding House, Chicago

Jay Blackinton, Hogstone Wood Oven, Orcas Island, WA

Alex Bois, High Street on Market, Philadelphia

Joseph Cuccia, 17 Summer, Lodi, NJ

Angela Dimayuga, Mission Chinese Food, NYC

Ryan Fox and Ali Matteis, Nomad, Portland, OR

Sara Hauman, Huxley, San Francisco

Sarah Hymanson and Sara Kramer, Madcapra at Grand Central Market, Los Angeles

Bradley Kilgore, Alter, Miami

Elise Kornack, Take Root, Brooklyn, NY

Irene Li, Mei Mei, Boston

Garrett Lipar, Marais, Grosse Pointe, MI

Grae Nonas, Olamaie, Austin

Misti Norris, Small Brewpub, Dallas

Maximillian Petty, Eden Hill, Seattle

Ryan Pollnow, Aatxe, San Francisco

José Ramírez-Ruiz, Semilla, Brooklyn, NY

Matt Rudofker, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, NYC

Beau Schooler, The Rookery, Juneau, AK

Marc Sheehan, Loyal Nine, Cambridge, MA

Daniela Soto-Innes, Cosme, NYC

Cara Stadler, Tao Yuan, Brunswick, ME

Alan Sternberg, Cerulean, Indianapolis

Jarrett Stieber, Eat Me Speak Me, Atlanta

Edward Sura, Perennial Virant, Chicago

Jenner Tomaska, Next, Chicago

BEST CHEFS

Chefs who have set new or consistent standards of excellence in their respective regions. Eligible candidates may be from any kind of dining establishment and must have been working as a chef for at least five years with the three most recent years spent in the region.

Best Chef: Great Lakes

Jake Bickelhaupt, 42 Grams, Chicago

Zack Bruell, Parallax, Cleveland

Jonathan Brooks, Milktooth, Indianapolis

Abraham Conlon, Fat Rice, Chicago

Curtis Duffy, Grace, Chicago

Paul Fehribach, Big Jones, Chicago

Phillip Foss, EL Ideas, Chicago

Greg Hardesty, Recess, Indianapolis

Eric Heath, Cleveland-Heath, Edwardsville, IL

Andy Hollyday, Selden Standard, Detroit

Nick Janutol, Forest, Birmingham, MI

Anne Kearney, Rue Dumaine, Dayton, OH

Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark, Parachute, Chicago

Ryan McCaskey, Acadia, Chicago

Abbi Merriss, Bluebeard, Indianapolis

Iliana Regan, Elizabeth, Chicago

Jose Salazar, Mita's, Cincinnati

Lee Wolen, Boka, Chicago

Erling Wu-Bower, Nico Osteria, Chicago

Andrew Zimmerman, Sepia, Chicago

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic

Victor Albisu, Del Campo, Washington, D.C.

Scott Anderson, Elements, Princeton, NJ

Joey Baldino, Zeppoli, Collingswood, NJ

Erik Bruner-Yang, Maketto, Washington, D.C.

Hari Cameron, a(MUSE.), Rehoboth Beach, DE

Peter Chang, Peter Chang, Arlington, VA

Joe Cicala, Le Virtù, Philadelphia

Jose De Brito, The Alley Light, Charlottesville, VA

Tarver King, The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm, Lovettsville, VA

Eli Kulp, Fork, Philadelphia

Rich Landau, Vedge, Philadelphia

Cedric Maupillier, Convivial, Washington, D.C.

Sydney Meers, Stove, The Restaurant, Portsmouth, VA

Konstantinos Pitsillides, Kanella South, Philadelphia

Dan Richer, Razza Pizza Artigianale, Jersey City, NJ

Justin Severino, Cure, Pittsburgh

David Shannon, L'Opossum, Richmond, VA

Aaron Silverman, Rose's Luxury, Washington, D.C.

Greg Vernick, Vernick Food & Drink, Philadelphia

Cindy Wolf, Charleston, Baltimore

Best Chef: Midwest

Paul Berglund, The Bachelor Farmer, Minneapolis

Thomas Boemer, Corner Table, Minneapolis

Mike Brown, Bob Gerken, and James Winberg, Travail Kitchen & Amusements, Robbinsdale, MN

Justin Carlisle, Ardent, Milwaukee

Jim Christiansen, Heyday, Minneapolis

Dan Fox, Heritage Tavern, Madison, WI

Jorge Guzman, Surly Brewing Co., Minneapolis

Thomas Hauck, c. 1880, Milwaukee

Jonathan Hunter, Forequarter, Madison, WI

Jonathan Justus, Justus Drugstore, Smithville, MO

Russell Klein, Meritage, St. Paul, MN

Francesco Mangano, Osteria Papavero, Madison, WI

Kevin Nashan, Sidney Street Café, St. Louis

Ben Poremba, Elaia, St. Louis

Mike Randolph, Público, University City, MO

Lenny Russo, Heartland Restaurant & Farm Direct Market, St. Paul, MN

Patrick Ryan, Port Fonda, Kansas City, MO

David Swanson, Braise, Milwaukee

Joe Tripp, Alba, Des Moines, IA

Kevin Willmann, Farmhaus, St. Louis

Best Chef: New York City

Nick Anderer, Marta

Jonathan Benno, Lincoln Ristorante

Rawia Bishara, Tanoreen, Brooklyn, NY

Marco Canora, Hearth

Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi, Carbone

John Fraser, Narcissa

Markus Glocker, Bâtard

James Kent, The NoMad

Anna Klinger, Al di Là Trattoria, Brooklyn, NY

Anita Lo, Annisa

Ignacio Mattos, Estela

George Mendes, Aldea

Carlo Mirarchi, Blanca, Brooklyn, NY

Joe Ng, RedFarm

Alex Raij and Eder Montero, Txikito

Bryce Shuman, Betony

Justin Smillie, Upland

Alex Stupak, Empellón Cocina

Jonathan Waxman, Barbuto

Jody Williams, Buvette

Best Chef: Northeast

Unmi Abkin, Coco & The Cellar Bar, Easthampton, MA

Karen Akunowicz, Myers + Chang, Boston

Tyler Anderson, Millwright's Restaurant, Simsbury, CT

Erin French, The Lost Kitchen, Freedom, ME

Eric Gabrynowicz, Restaurant North, Armonk, NY

Wesley Genovart, SoLo Farm & Table, South Londonderry, VT

Brian Hill, Francine, Camden, ME

Aaron Josinsky, Misery Loves Co., Winooski, VT

Matt Louis, Moxy Restaurant, Portsmouth, NH

Dan Magill, Arethusa al tavolo, Bantam, CT

Zak Pelaccio, Fish & Game, Hudson, NY

Cassie Piuma, Sarma, Somerville, MA

Susan Regis, Shepard, Cambridge, MA

Guy Reuge, Mirabelle, Stony Brook, NY

Michael Scelfo, Alden & Harlow, Cambridge, MA

Champe Speidel, Persimmon, Bristol, RI

Keiko Suzuki Steinberger, Suzuki's Sushi Bar, Rockland, ME

Philip Tang, Banyan Bar + Refuge, Boston

Derek Wagner, Nick's on Broadway, Providence

Mike Wiley and Andrew Taylor, Eventide Oyster Co., Portland, ME

Best Chef: Northwest

Jose Chesa, Ataula, Portland, OR

Laura Cole, 229 Parks Restaurant & Tavern, Denali National Park & Preserve, AK

Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton, Ox, Portland, OR

Eric Donnelly, RockCreek, Seattle

Jeff Drew, Snake River Grill, Jackson, WY

Mike Easton, Il Corvo Pasta, Seattle

Renee Erickson, The Whale Wins, Seattle

Adam Hegsted, The Wandering Table, Spokane, WA

Edouardo Jordan, Salare, Seattle

Joe Kim, 5 Fusion and Sushi Bar, Bend, OR

Kris Komori, State & Lemp, Boise, ID

Nathan Lockwood, Altura, Seattle

Mike Muirhead, Mas Taco, Red Lodge, MT

Trent Pierce, Roe, Portland, OR

Sarah Pliner, Aviary, Portland, OR

Ryan Roadhouse, Nodoguro, Portland, OR

Dustin Ronspies, Art of the Table, Seattle

Allen Routt, Painted Lady, Newberg, OR

Justin Woodward, Castagna, Portland, OR

Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule, Seattle

Best Chef: South

Greg Baker, The Refinery, Tampa, FL

David Bancroft, Acre, Auburn, AL

Vishwesh Bhatt, Snackbar, Oxford, MS

Kathleen Blake, The Rusty Spoon, Orlando, FL

Bill Briand, Fisher's Upstairs at Orange Beach Marina, Orange Beach, AL

Justin Devillier, La Petite Grocery, New Orleans

Jose Enrique, Jose Enrique, San Juan, PR

Michael Gulotta, MoPho, New Orleans

Jesse Houston, Saltine, Jackson, MS

Scott Hunnel, Victoria & Albert's at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Lake Buena Vista, FL

Deme Lomas, Niu Kitchen, Miami

Matthew McClure, The Hive, Bentonville, AR

Rob McDaniel, SpringHouse, Alexander City, AL

José Mendín, Pubbelly, Miami Beach, FL

James and Julie Petrakis, The Ravenous Pig, Winter Park, FL

Michael Pirolo, Macchialina, Miami Beach, FL

Giorgio Rapicavoli, Eating House, Coral Gables, FL

Slade Rushing, Brennan's, New Orleans

Michael Stoltzfus, Coquette, New Orleans

Isaac Toups, Toups' Meatery, New Orleans

Best Chef: Southeast

Nate Allen, Knife and Fork, Spruce Pine, NC

Billy Allin, Cakes & Ale, Decatur, GA

Jeremiah Bacon, The Macintosh, Charleston, SC

Brian Canipelli, Cucina 24, Asheville, NC

Kathy Cary, Lilly's, Louisville, KY

Scott Crawford, Standard Foods, Raleigh, NC

Steven Devereaux Greene, Herons in the Umstead Hotel, Cary, NC

Kevin Gillespie, Gunshow, Atlanta

Damian Heath, Lot 12 Public House, Berkeley Springs, WV

Vivian Howard, Chef & the Farmer, Kinston, NC

Kevin Johnson, The Grocery, Charleston, SC

Matthew Kelly, Mateo, Durham, NC

Joe Kindred, Kindred, Davidson, NC

Edward Lee, 610 Magnolia, Louisville, KY

Erik Niel, Easy Bistro, Chattanooga, TN

Steven Satterfield, Miller Union, Atlanta

Ryan Smith, Staplehouse, Atlanta

Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Memphis

Aaron Vandemark, Panciuto, Hillsborough, NC

Tandy Wilson, City House, Nashville

Best Chef: Southwest

Charleen Badman, FnB, Scottsdale, AZ

Kevin Binkley, Binkley's, Cave Creek, AZ

Bowman Brown, Forage, Salt Lake City

Andrew Cooper, Terra at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado, Santa Fe

Omar Flores, Casa Rubia, Dallas

Bryce Gilmore, Barley Swine, Austin

Manabu Horiuchi, Kata Robata, Houston

Jennifer James, Jennifer James 101, Albuquerque, NM

Matt McCallister, FT33, Dallas

Steve McHugh, Cured, San Antonio

Hugo Ortega, Caracol, Houston

Jonathan Perno, La Merienda at Los Poblanos, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM

Steven Redzikowski, Acorn, Denver

Martín Rios, Restaurant Martín, Santa Fe, NM

Dana Rodriguez, Work & Class, Denver

Teiichi Sakurai, Tei-An, Dallas

Alex Seidel, Fruition, Denver

Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan, The Pass, Houston

David Uygur, Lucia, Dallas

Justin Yu, Oxheart, Houston

Best Chef: West

Matthew Accarrino, SPQR, San Francisco

William Bradley, Addison at the Grand Del Mar, San Diego

Josef Centeno, Orsa & Winston, Los Angeles

Michael Cimarusti, Providence, Los Angeles

Justin Cogley, Aubergine at L'Auberge Carmel, Carmel, CA

Dominique Crenn, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco

Jeremy Fox, Rustic Canyon, Santa Monica, CA

Ed Kenney, Town, Honolulu

Mourad Lahlou, Mourad, San Francisco

Corey Lee, Benu, San Francisco

Ludo Lefebvre, Trois Mec, Los Angeles

Travis Lett, Gjelina, Venice, CA

Ori Menashe, Bestia, Los Angeles

Rick Moonen, RM Seafood, Las Vegas

Melissa Perello, Octavia, San Francisco

Carlos Salgado, Taco Maria, Costa Mesa, CA

Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Animal, Los Angeles

Joshua Skenes, Saison, San Francisco

James Syhabout, Commis, Oakland, CA

Kris Yenbamroong, Night + Market Song, Los Angeles