2011 James Beard Awards: Chefs and restaurants finalists
March 21st, 2011
02:50 PM ET
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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
Menton, Boston
Torrisi Italian Specialties, NYC

OUTSTANDING CHEF
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

OUTSTANDING RESTAURANT
Blue Hill, NYC
Boulevard, San Francisco
Eleven Madison Park, NYC
Highlands Bar and Grill, Birmingham, AL
Vetri, Philadelphia

OUTSTANDING RESTAURATEUR
Bruce Bromberg and Eric Bromberg
Tom Douglas
Pat Kuleto
Richard Melman
Phil Suarez

OUTSTANDING SERVICE
Canlis, Seattle
Emeril’s, New Orleans
La Grenouille, NYC
Per Se, NYC
Topolobampo, Chicago

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.



soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. WasabiPotPie

    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.

    March 22, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  2. WasabiPotPie

    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.

    March 22, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • Sinister Sister

      Too bad your humor-ectomy was a success. You could have made a descent human being.

      March 22, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
      • Word Police

        Should have been "decent human being," but the point was well made.

        March 22, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  3. Ho Rye

    Typical Obama bait and switch.... beard contest my _ _ _ !!! This would not happen if Chuck Norris were President, now that is a beard!

    March 22, 2011 at 3:21 am |
  4. TheBossIsOut

    All this reading has made me hungry. Time to head to McDonalds.

    March 22, 2011 at 12:48 am |
  5. Bryce

    I as well was hoping for pictures of an actual beard competition. Utterly disappointed.

    March 21, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
  6. pwilens

    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?

    March 21, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      Frank Stitt jumped over the whole South, it seems. Highlands is up for Best Restaurant overall!

      March 21, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
  7. Richard Allen

    i seriously thought this was who had the most awesome facial hair contest...i am...disappointed.

    March 21, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
    • Wayne

      You're not alone. I feel like a victim of bait & switch.

      March 21, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • Ichi

      Me three :(

      March 21, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
    • Jeremy

      I'm in that number. I was thinking, conan has got to be a finalist.

      March 22, 2011 at 12:06 am |
    • JD

      maybe it's judged based on which chef gets the most beard hair in their food

      March 22, 2011 at 12:09 am |
  8. The Culinerd

    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

    March 21, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
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