The James Beard Foundation announces the finalists leading up to this year's Awards ceremony, and the list of local contenders who are still in the game is relatively substantial. Danny Bowien and Thomas McNaughton are still dukeing it out for Rising Star Chef of the Year, and four (four!) local guys are still under consideration for Best Chef, Pacific. They are Michael Chiarello of Bottega, Chris Cosentino of Incanto, Christopher Kostow of Meadowood, and Daniel Patterson of Coi.
Other local finalists of note include Melissa Chou of Aziza in the Outstanding Pastry Chef category, AQ for Best New Restaurant, Cyrus and Michael Mina for Outstanding Service, Boulevard for Outstanding Restaurant and Gary Danko for Outstanding Chef. Bar Agricole is also still up for Outstanding Bar Program, and A16 for Outstanding Wine Program. Pastry chef Emily Luchetti is being considered for the somewhat odd Who's Who category.
No Bay Area names remain in the Restaurant Design and Restaurant Graphic categories, and there's not a whole lot of representation in the myriad cookbook categories either. Although East Bay Express's Ellen Cushing and Emily Kaiser Thelin (who moved here a little over a year ago from New York) is still being considered in the Profile category, based on this piece she wrote about Bi-Rite and Sam Mogannam for the Sept. 2011 issue of San Francisco magazine.
The award winners will be announced at a gala event on Monday, May 7 at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in New York. Take a look at all the finalists from across the country over at Eater National.
· All James Beard Awards Coverage [~ ESF ~]