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These Are the Bay Area Locals Who Just Won James Beard Foundation Media Awards

Plus, Iron Chef is coming to Napa and more food news

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Paolo Bicchieri is a reporter at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, coffee and cafes, and pop-ups.

The James Beard Restaurant Awards aren’t announced until tomorrow, but a few Bay Area locals won in the Media Awards over the weekend. On Saturday, June 11 the organization let eager fans know that four awards went to the region this year, the first Beards to go out after a two-year break.

Winners include:

  • Brandon Jew and Tienlon Ho took home a book award in the Restaurant and Professional category for Mister Jiu’s in Chinatown: Recipes and Stories from the Birthplace of Chinese American Food
  • Kristina Cho received the Baking and Desserts book award for Mooncakes and Milk Bread: Sweet and Savory Recipes Inspired by Chinese Bakeries, and an Emerging Voice award
  • Iconic restaurant Zuni Cafe’s The Zuni Café Cookbook: A Compendium of Recipes and Cooking Lessons from San Francisco’s Beloved Restaurant entered the Cookbook Hall of Fame
  • And Chronicle food writer Soleil Ho won the prestigious Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award

Union drive fails in Marin Starbucks

In Mill Valley, an effort to join the Starbucks Workers United union failed by one vote. The Strawberry Village store’s final tally was seven votes against and six votes for, and lead by 17-year-old Ella Clark. Clark tells the Mercury News, “This isn’t the end. This is bigger than us.”

This restaurant temporarily closed for earthquake retrofitting now returns

Yuet Lee, a Chinatown staple (especially for late night diners), is reopened after a nine-month retrofitting had fans believing the restaurant would never return. There were murmurs on Yelp and Instagram that confirmed the temporary nature of the closing, but it was Supervisor Aaron Peskin who rang in the return with a celebratory tweet. According to Hoodline, the 45-year-old restaurant hosted celebs like Guy Fieri and Jackie Chan in the past.

Napa’s film festival brings Netflix to wine country

On June 15, celebrity chefs including Gabriela Cámara, Dominique Crenn, Marcus Samuelson, and Ming Tsai will join Alton Brown and the “Iron Chef” crew at Napa’s CIA at Copia for a screening of the finale of Netflix’s “Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend.” The final episode of eight will be followed by a Q&A and dinner for the event.

Local innovator and owner of a $2 million ancient wine text collection dies in Bolinas

Sean Thackery, a Marin and Sonoma County winemaker, died on May 30 at his home in Bolinas at the age of 79. His businesses, Thackery & Co. and Pleiades Wine Co., are inspirations to those who enjoy funky wines with long fermentations. The Marin Independent Journal writes that Thackery was a lover of wine writing, too, and his collection will be kept together and available to aficionados in the future.