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.
Del Mar, Washington, D.C.
Empellón Midtown, NYC
Felix Trattoria, Venice, CA
Grand Café, Minneapolis
Henrietta Red, Nashville
Honey Road, Burlington, VT
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
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
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.
Bluestem, Kansas City, MO
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
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