If you noticed a palpable anxiety in restaurants earlier this week, it might have been because the nominations for the James Beard Foundation Awards, popularly-dubbed the "Oscars of the food world," were imminent.
Each October, the James Beard Foundation holds an online open call on its Web site for submissions - this year, a record number of entries, more than 28,000, were received.
From there, an independent accounting firm tabulates the entrants for the Restaurant and Chef Committee. The Committee then creates a ballot of semifinalists to be sent to a judges' panel of more than 550 food professionals and past James Beard Foundation Award winners.
The panel votes to determine the final five nominees in each of the 19 categories, and will ultimately vote on those finalists to determine the winner.
The nominations for the 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards were live-tweeted (@BeardFoundation) Monday morning from the Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland. The winners will be announced on May 9 at the Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception by previous James Beard Award-winning hosts Tom Colicchio, Ming Tsai and Traci Des Jardins.
And without further ado, the nominees are:
BEST NEW RESTAURANT
ABC Kitchen, NYC
Benu, San Francisco
Girl & the Goat, Chicago
Torrisi Italian Specialties, NYC
José Andrés, minibar by José Andrés, Washington, D.C.
Gary Danko, Restaurant Gary Danko, San Francisco
Suzanne Goin, Lucques, Los Angeles
Paul Kahan, Blackbird, Chicago
Charles Phan, The Slanted Door, San Francisco
OUTSTANDING PASTRY CHEF
Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery + Café, Boston
Patrick Fahy, Blackbird, Chicago
Dahlia Narvaez, Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles
Angela Pinkerton, Eleven Madison Park, NYC
Mindy Segal, Mindy’s HotChocolate Restaurant and Dessert Bar, Chicago
Blue Hill, NYC
Boulevard, San Francisco
Eleven Madison Park, NYC
Highlands Bar and Grill, Birmingham, AL
Bruce Bromberg and Eric Bromberg
Emeril’s, New Orleans
La Grenouille, NYC
Per Se, NYC
OUTSTANDING WINE SERVICE
A16, San Francisco, Shelley Lindgren
Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN, Andy Chabot
Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder, CO, Bobby Stuckey
The Modern, NYC, Belinda Chang
Picasso at Bellagio, Las Vegas, Robert Smith
OUTSTANDING WINE AND SPIRITS PROFESSIONAL
Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE
Merry Edwards, Merry Edwards Winery, Sebastopol, CA
Paul Grieco, Hearth and Terroir, NYC
Rajat Parr, Mina Group, San Francisco
Julian Van Winkle III, Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, Louisville, KY
RISING STAR CHEF OF THE YEAR
Aaron London, Ubuntu, Napa, CA
Thomas McNaughton, flour + water, San Francisco
Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon, Portland, OR
Christina Tosi, Momofuku Milk Bar, NYC
Sue Zemanick, Gautreau’s, New Orleans
BEST CHEF: GREAT LAKES
Michael Carlson, Schwa, Chicago
Curtis Duffy, Avenues at the Peninsula, Chicago
Bruce Sherman, North Pond, Chicago
Paul Virant, Vie, Western Springs, IL
Alex Young, Zingerman’s Roadhouse, Ann Arbor, MI
BEST CHEF: MID-ATLANTIC
Cathal Armstrong, Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, VA
Johnny Monis, Komi, Washington, D.C.
Peter Pastan, Obelisk, Washington, D.C.
Maricel Presilla, Cucharamama, Hoboken, NJ
Michael Solomonov, Zahav, Philadelphia
BEST CHEF: MIDWEST
Justin Aprahamian, Sanford, Milwaukee
Isaac Becker, 112 Eatery, Minneapolis
Colby Garrelts, Bluestem, Kansas City, MO
Tory Miller, L’Etoile, Madison, WI
Lenny Russo, Heartland, St. Paul, MN
BEST CHEF: NEW YORK CITY
Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern
April Bloomfield, The Spotted Pig
Wylie Dufresne, wd~50
Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune
Michael White, Marea
BEST CHEF: NORTHEAST
Tim Cushman, o ya, Boston
Krista Kern Desjarlais, Bresca, Portland, ME
Gerry Hayden, The North Fork Table & Inn, Southold, NY
Matt Jennings, La Laiterie, Providence
Tony Maws, Craigie On Main, Cambridge, MA
Eric Warnstedt, Hen of the Wood, Waterbury, VT
BEST CHEF: NORTHWEST
Matt Dillon, Sitka & Spruce, Seattle
Christopher Israel, Grüner, Portland, OR
Andy Ricker, Pok Pok, Portland, OR
Ethan Stowell, Staple & Fancy, Mercantile, Seattle
Cathy Whims, Nostrana, Portland, OR
BEST CHEF: PACIFIC
Michael Cimarusti, Providence, Los Angeles
Christopher Kostow, The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, CA
Daniel Patterson, COI, San Francisco
Richard Reddington, Redd, Yountville, CA
Michael Tusk, Quince, San Francisco
BEST CHEF: SOUTH
Zach Bell, Café Boulud, Palm Beach, FL
John Harris, Lilette, New Orleans
Chris Hastings, Hot and Hot Fish Club, Birmingham, AL
Tory McPhail, Commander’s Palace, New Orleans
Stephen Stryjewski, Cochon, New Orleans
BEST CHEF: SOUTHEAST
Hugh Acheson, Five and Ten, Athens, GA
Craig Deihl, Cypress, Charleston, SC
John Fleer, Canyon Kitchen at Lonesome Valley, Cashiers, NC
Linton Hopkins, Restaurant Eugene, Atlanta
Edward Lee, 610 Magnolia, Louisville, KY
Andrea Reusing, Lantern, Chapel Hill, NC
BEST CHEF: SOUTHWEST
Bruce Auden, Biga on the Banks, San Antonio
Bryan Caswell, Reef, Houston
Saipin Chutima, Lotus of Siam, Las Vegas
Tyson Cole, Uchi, Austin, TX
Ryan Hardy, Montagna at the Little Nell, Aspen, CO
Related - James Beard Awards: 2011 journalism, multimedia and cookbook finalists
Editor's note: Eatocracy's managing editor, Kat Kinsman, is the vice chair of the James Beard Journalism Committee, the group that oversees the journalism category's awards. An independent accounting firm oversees the process.
It was silly when one person made a "beard" joke but quite unoriginal when others tried to do the same. Ignorance is only funny when we are talking about Sarah Palin.
Richard Allen, Wayne, Ichi, Ho Rye, and anyone else who wants to make a stupid comment about the James Beard Award – The proctologist called and said your conditions are irreversible, your heads cannot be removed from your ar$e. I am sorry for your pain.
Too bad your humor-ectomy was a success. You could have made a descent human being.
Should have been "decent human being," but the point was well made.
Typical Obama bait and switch.... beard contest my _ _ _ !!! This would not happen if Chuck Norris were President, now that is a beard!
All this reading has made me hungry. Time to head to McDonalds.
I as well was hoping for pictures of an actual beard competition. Utterly disappointed.
In the South, anybody can win as long as it isn't Chris Hastings. I had the worst dining experience of my life at Hot & Hot and I wouldn't recommend it to my worst enemy. Too bad they overlooked Chris Dupont, whose place is far superior. And what about Frank Stitt?
Frank Stitt jumped over the whole South, it seems. Highlands is up for Best Restaurant overall!
i seriously thought this was who had the most awesome facial hair contest...i am...disappointed.
You're not alone. I feel like a victim of bait & switch.
Me three :(
I'm in that number. I was thinking, conan has got to be a finalist.
maybe it's judged based on which chef gets the most beard hair in their food
Was hoping our local chef for the Lincoln Cafe would make it past the semi-final round, but not this time yet. check out my "alphabet experiment" and some info on Lincoln Cafe at http://www.theculinerd.com/alphabet
Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.
Join 8,160 other followers