This morning, the James Beard Foundation announced the shortlist of finalists for the 2015 James Beard Awards, culled from the longer list announced back in February. The quick read: San Francisco gets a lot of love from the foundation again this year, with nominees in the categories of Best New Restaurant, Best Chef and a handful for food journalism.
First, the restaurant nominees: The Progress was nominated for Best New Restaurant, just two years after Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski took home the same award for State Bird Provisions. In the Outstanding Baker category B. Patisserie's Belinda Leong and Michel Suas are up against William Werner baked goods at Craftsman & Wolves. On the bar front, Trick Dog gets another nom for Outstanding Bar Program, alongside Bar Agricole. No one local was recognized for Outstanding Chef, Outstanding Pastry Chef or Outstanding Restaurant, but two Bay Area chefs/empire builders got a look for Outstanding Restaurateur: Michael Mina for his Mina Group which now stretches from Miami to Seattle, and Napa chef/matriarch Cindy Pawlcyn for Mustard's, Cindy's Back Street Kitchen and Cindy's Waterfront.
Mina group's own Rajat Parr received a nomination for Outstanding Beer, Wine, or Spirits professional and we can probably blame him at least partially for that $27 foie gras old fashioned. Quince snagged a nomination for Outstanding Service, while A16 got some recognition for their Outstanding Wine Program. Manresa's Jessica Largey is on the ticket for Rising Star Chef of the Year.
San Francisco took three out of the five nominations in the Best Chef: West category with Corey Lee holding one for Benu, Matthew Accarino for SPQR and the Brioza/Krasinski team sharing a nomination for State Bird Provisions for the second year in a row.
Food and beverage nominations aside, San Francisco's cabal of food journalists put out an impressive showing this year as well: John Birdsall's excellent "Jeremiah Tower's Invincible Armor of Pleasure" for Eater National made the shortlist of nominees in the Profile category. Tom Philpott's expose "California Goes Nuts" on the California almond industry in the middle of a catastrophic drought brought in a nomination for Mother Jones.
For Wired Magazine Ben Paynter's piece on Monsanto "Bred to Perfection" [pdf alert] was nominated in the Food and Health category. Rebecca Flint Marx was nominated in the Food and Culture category for her zinger on "The Toxic, Abusive, Addictive, Supportive, Codependent Relationship Between Chefs and Yelpers" in San Francisco Magazine. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt's work at Serious Eats garnered a nod for best Food-Related Columns, while the staff of the Chronicle's newly dubbed "Food + Home" section were nominated for Food Coverage in a General-Interest publication. San Francisco-based AFAR Magazine was also nominated for chef Gabrielle Hamilton's visit to Sicilian wine country, "Into the Vines."
On the books front, Bar Tartine's Techniques and Recipes shows up in the professional cookbook category. Former Chronicle contributor/current PUNCH editor Talia Baiocchi's modern guide to Sherry was nominated in the Beverage category, as well as the photography category for photographer Ed Anderson. Likewise photographers Jen Munkvold and Taylor Peden share a nomination for the visuals in Christopher Kostow's A New Napa Cuisine.
Check the full list of categories and nominees over at Eater National.
[Updated to include AFAR magazine's nomination for Gabrielle Hamilton's piece, we certainly regret the omission.]