James Beard Awards Semifinalists 2018

See who made the list

It's officially awards season in 2018, and we're not talking about the Oscars. The James Beard Foundation, after receiving more than 20,000 entries, has just released its list of semifinalists for what it considers this year's best chefs and restaurants.

In the Best New Restaurant category, The Anchorage is finally giving up-and-coming food city Greeneville the formal recognition it deserves, with less surprising (but equally well-deserved) acknowledgements going to Evan Funke's well-loved Italian restaurant, Felix, in Venice, Edouardo Jordan's JuneBaby in Seattle and Kate Williams's just-opened Lady of the House in Detroit. 

In the Outstanding Chef category, Ashley Christensen of Poole's Diner in Raleigh, North Carolina, gets a mention alongside The Mind of a Chef stars Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune in NYC and David Kinch of Manresa in San Francisco.  

One of the more anticipated categories is Outstanding Restaurant of the Year. New York's iconic brasserie, Balthazar receives a nod, along with legendary Pacific Northwest restaurant Canlis and three-Michelin-star Quince in San Francisco. Outside of coastal hubs, L'Etoile in Madison, Wisconsin is also nominated.

The next round of finalists will be announced on March 14 in Philadelphia, with the final winners being revealed on May 7 during the annual gala in Chicago. Scroll through to see the rest of the nominees for Best New Restaurant, Outstanding Chef and Outstanding Restaurant, before checking out the entire list of nominees across all the other categories.

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.

The Anchorage, Greenville, SC

Annette, Aurora, CO

The Blue Hen, Rehoboth Beach, DE

Brewery Bhavana, Raleigh, NC

The Charter Oak, St. Helena, CA

ChiKo, Washington, D.C.

Cote, NYC

Del Mar, Washington, D.C.

Empellón Midtown, NYC

Felix Trattoria, Venice, CA

Grand Café, Minneapolis

HaiSous, Chicago

Henrietta Red, Nashville

Honey Road, Burlington, VT

JuneBaby, Seattle

Kemuri Tatsu-ya, Austin

Kismet, Los Angeles

Lady of the House, Detroit

Les Sablons, Cambridge, MA

Maru Sushi, Honolulu

Maydan, Washington, D.C.

Mi Tocaya Antojería, Chicago

Osteria Radici, Allentown, NJ

Saffron, New Orleans

Southern National, Mobile, AL

Vespertine, Culver City, CA

Vicia, St. Louis

Xochi, Houston 

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. Must have been working as a chef for the past five years. 

Hugh Acheson, Five & Ten, Athens, GA

Andrew Carmellini, Locanda Verde, NYC

Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery + Cafe, Boston

Ashley Christensen, Poole's Diner, Raleigh, NC

Renee Erickson, Bateau, Seattle

Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune, NYC  

Sam Hayward, Fore Street, Portland, ME

Johanne Killeen, Al Forno, Providence

David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA

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

Mike Lata, The Ordinary, Charleston, SC

Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans

Tony Mantuano, Spiaggia, Chicago

Carrie Nahabedian, Naha, Chicago

Alex Roberts, Restaurant Alma, Minneapolis

Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon, Portland, OR

Holly Smith, Cafe Juanita, Kirkland, WA

Vikram Sunderam, Rasika, Washington, D.C.

Fabio Trabocchi, Fiola, Washington, D.C.

Blaine Wetzel, The Willows Inn on Lummi Island, Lummi Island, WA 

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. Must have been in operation 10 or more consecutive years.

Balthazar, NYC

Bluestem, Kansas City, MO

Canlis, Seattle

Chase's Daily, Belfast, ME

Frankies 457 Spuntino, Brooklyn, NY

Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder, CO

Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, AL

Jaleo, Washington, D.C.

Koi Palace, Daly City, CA

Komi, Washington, D.C.

La Casita Mexicana, Bell, CA

Legume Bistro, Pittsburgh

L'Etoile, Madison, WI

Mama's Fish House, Paia, HI

Momofuku Noodle Bar, NYC

North Pond, Chicago

O Ya, Boston

Quince, San Francisco

Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco

Talula's Table, Kennett Square, PA