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James Beard Foundation Awards medals | ©Carly Erickson/BFA/REX/Shutterstock
James Beard Foundation Awards medals | ©Carly Erickson/BFA/REX/Shutterstock
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The 2017 James Beard Award Finalists Were Just Announced

Picture of Kathryn Maier
NYC Food & Drink Editor
Updated: 15 March 2017
Today, the James Beard Foundation announced the finalists for its prestigious annual restaurant and chef awards.

There are a lot of awards in the restaurant world. There’s The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, and its regional spinoffs. There are stars bestowed by the Michelin Guide. But the real Oscars of the food world, at least in America, are the James Beard Foundation Awards. Named for one of the original foodies, a James Beard Award is one of the food world’s top honors.

The complete list of chef and restaurant finalists follows below; the winners will be announced on May 1, during a gala ceremony at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

2017 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards

Best New Restaurant
A restaurant opened in the past year that already displays excellence in food, beverage, and service, and that is likely to make a significant impact in years to come.

In Situ, San Francisco

Le Coucou, NYC

Olmsted, Brooklyn, NY

Pineapple and Pearls, Washington, D.C.

Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco

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 working as a baker or pastry chef for at least five years.

Ken Forkish, Ken’s Artisan Bakery, Portland, OR

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

Zachary Golper, Bien Cuit, Brooklyn, NY

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

Greg Wade, Publican Quality Bread, Chicago

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

Arnaud’s French 75 Bar, New Orleans

Bar Agricole, San Francisco

Clyde Common, Portland, OR

Cure, New Orleans

The Dead Rabbit, NYC

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.

Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune, NYC

David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA

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

Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans

Michael Solomonov, Zahav, 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 working as a pastry chef or baker for the past five years.

Kelly Fields, Willa Jean, New Orleans

Maura Kilpatrick, Oleana, Cambridge, MA

Margarita Manzke, République, Los Angeles

Dolester Miles, Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, AL

Ghaya Oliveira, Daniel, 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. Must have been in operation 10 or more consecutive years.

Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder, CO

Highlands Bar and Grill, Birmingham, AL

Momofuku Noodle Bar, NYC

Quince, San Francisco

The Spotted Pig, NYC

Topolobampo, Chicago

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

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

JoAnn Clevenger, Upperline, New Orleans

Ken Oringer, Uni, Toro, Coppa, and others, Boston

Stephen Starr, Starr Restaurants (Le Coucou, Serpico, Upland, and others), Philadelphia

Caroline Styne, The Lucques Group (Lucques, a.o.c., Tavern, and others), Los Angeles

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

Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, NY

Galatoire’s Restaurant, New Orleans

Marea, NYC

Terra, St. Helena, CA

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.

Benu, San Francisco

Canlis, Seattle

Emeril’s, New Orleans

Fig, Charleston, SC

Miller Union, Atlanta

Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional
A beer, wine, or spirits professional who has made a significant national impact on the restaurant industry.

Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE

Diane Flynt, Foggy Ridge Cider, Dugspur, VA

Miljenko Grgich, Grgich Hills Estate, Rutherford, CA

Aldo Sohm, Zalto Glass, NYC

Rob Tod, Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, ME

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.

Camille Cogswell, Zahav, Philadelphia

Zachary Engel, Shaya, New Orleans

Matt Rudofker, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, NYC

Jenner Tomaska, Next, Chicago

Brady Williams, Canlis, Seattle

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 (IL, IN, MI, OH)

Abraham Conlon, Fat Rice, Chicago

Sarah Grueneberg, Monteverde, Chicago

Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark, Parachute, Chicago

Lee Wolen, Boka, Chicago

Erling Wu-Bower, Nico Osteria, Chicago

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)

Amy Brandwein, Centrolina, Washington, D.C.

Tom Cunanan, Bad Saint, Washington, D.C.

Rich Landau, Vedge, Philadelphia

Greg Vernick, Vernick Food & Drink, Philadelphia

Cindy Wolf, Charleston, Baltimore

Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)

Steven Brown, Tilia, Minneapolis

Justin Carlisle, Ardent, Milwaukee

Jorge Guzman, Brewer’s Table at Surly Brewing Co., Minneapolis

Kevin Nashan, Sidney Street Cafe, St. Louis

Kevin Willmann, Farmhaus, St. Louis

Best Chef: New York City (Five Boroughs)

Marco Canora, Hearth

Anita Lo, Annisa

Ignacio Mattos, Estela

Missy Robbins, Lilia

Jody Williams, Buvette Gastrothèque

Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, MH, NY STATE, RI, VT)

Karen Akunowicz, Myers + Chang, Boston

Cassie Piuma, Sarma, Somerville, MA

Susan Regis, Shepard, Cambridge, MA

Benjamin Sukle, Birch, Providence, RI

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

Best Chef: Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY)

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

Edouardo Jordan, Salare, Seattle

Katy Millard, Coquine, Portland, OR

Justin Woodward, Castagna, Portland, OR

Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule, Seattle

Best Chef: South (AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, PR)

Vishwesh Bhatt, Snackbar, Oxford, MS

Nina Compton, Compère Lapin, New Orleans

Jose Enrique, Jose Enrique, San Juan, PR

Slade Rushing, Brennan’s, New Orleans

Rebecca Wilcomb, Herbsaint, New Orleans

Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)

John Fleer, Rhubarb, Asheville, NC

Edward Lee, 610 Magnolia, Louisville, KY

Steven Satterfield, Miller Union, Atlanta

Ryan Smith, Staplehouse, Atlanta

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

Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, CO, NM, OK, TX, UT)

Bryce Gilmore, Barley Swine, Austin

Steve McHugh, Cured, San Antonio

Hugo Ortega, Hugo’s, Houston

Steve Redzikowski, Acorn, Denver

Martín Rios, Restaurant Martín, Santa Fe

Jianyun Ye, Mala Sichuan Bistro, Houston

Best Chef: West (CA, HI, NV)

Michael Cimarusti, Providence, Los Angeles

Dominique Crenn, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco

Jeremy Fox, Rustic Canyon Wine Bar and Seasonal Kitchen, Santa Monica, CA

Corey Lee, Benu, San Francisco

Ludo Lefebvre, Trois Mec, Los Angeles

Travis Lett, Gjelina, Venice, CA

The James Beard Foundation is also pleased to announce the 2017 Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America inductees

Roger Berkowitz, President and CEO, Legal Sea Foods, Boston

Suzanne Goin, Multiple James Beard Award-Winning Chef and Restaurateur, A.O.C., Lucques, and Tavern, Los Angeles

Evan Kleiman, Culinarian; Host of KCRW’s Good Food, Los Angeles

Michel Nischan, Multiple James Beard Award-Winning Chef; Founder, President, and CEO, Wholesome Wave, Bridgeport, CT

Rajat Parr, Director, Mina Group Wine; Sommelier and Author, San Francisco

2017 James Beard Foundation America’s Classics

Bertha’s Kitchen, Charleston, SC; Owners: Julia Grant, Linda Pinckney and Sharon Coakley

Gioia’s Deli, St. Louis; Owner: Alex Donley

La Taqueria, San Francisco; Owner: Miguel Jara

Sahadi’s, Brooklyn, NY; Owners: Christina Sahadi Whelan, and Ron Sahadi

Schultz’s Crab House, Essex, MD; Owners: Karen and Bob McKinney

2017 James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year

Denise Cerreta, One World Everybody Eats, Salt Lake City

2017 James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award

Nora Pouillon, Restaurant Nora, Washington, D.C.