As per usual, San Francisco has a strong showing in the annual James Beard Foundation Awards semifinalists list, which was released today. Regulars like Nancy Oakes (Boulevard), Michael Mina (Michael Mina, RN74) and Mourad Lahlou (Mourad, Aziza) once again pepper the list, and newcomers like Liholiho Yacht Club and Sara Hauman (Huxley) are breathing some fresh life into the mix.
Over the next month, this "long list" will be pared down, with finalists announced Tuesday, March 15. The winners will then finally be announced at the awards gala on Monday, May 2 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. See the full showing of Bay Area semifinalists below, and head here for the complete, nationwide list.
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.
Cala, San Francisco
Liholiho Yacht Club, San Francisco
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 a baker or pastry chef for at least five years.
Belinda Leong and Michel Suas, B. Patisserie, San Francisco
William Werner, Craftsman and Wolves, San Francisco
Outstanding Bar Program
A restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence in cocktail, spirits and/or beer service.
Bar Agricole, San Francisco
Trick Dog, San Francisco
A working chef in America whose career has set national industry standards and who has served as an inspiration to other food professionals. Eligible candidates must have been working as a chef for the past five years.
Christopher Kostow, The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, CA
Nancy Oakes, Boulevard, San Francisco
Michael Tusk, Quince, San Francisco
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 a pastry chef or baker for the past five years.
Melissa Chou, Mourad, San Francisco
Juan Contreras, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco
A restaurant in the United States that serves as a national standard bearer of consistent quality and excellence in food, atmosphere and service. Eligible restaurants must have been in operation 10 or more consecutive years.
Acquerello, San Francisco
Foreign Cinema, San Francisco
Restaurant Gary Danko, San Francisco
A working restaurateur who sets high national standards in restaurant operations and entrepreneurship. Candidates must have been in the restaurant business for at least 10 years. Candidates must not have won a James Beard Foundation chef award in the past five years.
Michael Mina, Mina Restaurants, San Francisco (Michael Mina, Bourbon Steak, RN74, and others)
Cindy Pawlcyn, Napa, CA (Mustards Grill, Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen, Cindy's Waterfront at the Monterey Bay Aquarium)
A restaurant in operation five or more years that demonstrates high standards of hospitality and service.
Quince, San Francisco
Saison, San Francisco
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
Nopa, San Francisco
Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional
A beer, wine or spirits professional who has made a significant national impact on the restaurant industry.
Vinnie Cilurzo, Russian River Brewing Company, Santa Rosa, CA
Miljenko Grgich, Grgich Hills Estate, Rutherford, CA
Ted Lemon, Littorai Wines, Sebastopol, CA
Steve Matthiasson, Matthiasson Wines, Napa, CA
Lance Winters, St. George Spirits, Alameda, CA
Rising Star 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.
Sara Hauman, Huxley, San Francisco
Ryan Pollnow, Aatxe, San Francisco
Best Chef: West
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.
Matthew Accarrino, SPQR, San Francisco
William Bradley, Addison at the Grand Del Mar, San Diego
Josef Centeno, Orsa & Winston, Los Angeles
Michael Cimarusti, Providence, Los Angeles
Justin Cogley, Aubergine at L’Auberge Carmel, Carmel, CA
Dominique Crenn, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco
Jeremy Fox, Rustic Canyon, Santa Monica, CA
Ed Kenney, Town, Honolulu
Mourad Lahlou, Mourad, San Francisco
Corey Lee, Benu, San Francisco
Ludo Lefebvre, Trois Mec, Los Angeles
Travis Lett, Gjelina, Venice, CA
Ori Menashe, Bestia, Los Angeles
Rick Moonen, RM Seafood, Las Vegas
Melissa Perello, Octavia, San Francisco
Carlos Salgado, Taco Maria, Costa Mesa, CA
Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Animal, Los Angeles
Joshua Skenes, Saison, San Francisco
James Syhabout, Commis, Oakland, CA
Kris Yenbamroong, Night + Market Song, Los Angeles