Here Are the 2020 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Award Finalists

Photo: Victor Spinelli/WireImage

Like everything else in the world, the James Beard Foundation’s annual awards ceremony — typically the restaurant world’s most celebratory time of year — was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. Originally, the awards ceremony was set to take place this evening; instead, the final nominees were announced today, with the awards set to be given out in Chicago on September 25.

With the entire industry in disarray, today’s announcement is yet another reminder of the talent, passion, and tireless work that exemplifies the country’s best restaurants. Most the below nominees are closed, either temporarily or even permanently, but as the James Beard Foundation’s Mitchell Davis writes today, “It was clear that those whose work in 2019 led them to be selected as a semifinalist — and perhaps ultimately a nominee or a winner — deserved the recognition they earned.” You can check out the full list here. Congratulations to everyone involved, and we look forward to the time when we can all celebrate properly.

Best New Restaurant
Automatic Seafood and Oysters, Birmingham, AL
Demi, Minneapolis
Eem, Portland, OR
Fox & the Knife, Boston
Gado Gado, Portland, OR
Gianna, New Orleans
Kalaya, Philadelphia
Nightshade, Los Angeles
Pasjoli, Santa Monica, CA
Verjus, San Francisco

Outstanding Baker
Graison Gill, Bellegarde Bakery, New Orleans
Zachary Golper, Bien Cuit, NYC
Maura Kilpatrick, Sofra Bakery, Cambridge, MA
Lisa Ludwinski, Sister Pie, Detroit
Avery Ruzicka, Manresa Bread, Los Gatos, CA

Outstanding Bar Program
Anvil Bar & Refuge, Houston
Expatriate, Portland, OR
Kimball House, Decatur, GA
Lost Lake, Chicago
Trick Dog, San Francisco

Outstanding Chef
David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA
Corey Lee, Benu, San Francisco
Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans
Missy Robbins, Lilia, NYC
Ana Sortun, Oleana, Cambridge, MA
Marc Vetri, Vetri Cucina, Philadelphia

Outstanding Hospitality
Brigtsen’s, New Orleans
Canlis, Seattle
Saison, San Francisco
Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco
Zingerman’s Roadhouse, Ann Arbor, MI

Outstanding Pastry Chef
Lincoln Carson, Bon Temps, Los Angeles
Juan Contreras, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco
Margarita Manzke, République, Los Angeles
Diane Moua, Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis
Natasha Pickowicz, Flora Bar, NYC
Miro Uskokovic, Gramercy Tavern, NYC

Outstanding Restaurant
FIG, Charleston, SC
Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder, CO
Jaleo, Washington, D.C.
Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix
Quince, San Francisco

Outstanding Restaurateur
Paul Bartolotta, The Bartolotta Restaurants, Milwaukee (Ristorante Bartolotta, Harbor House, Lake Park Bistro, and others)
Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer, JK Food Group, Boston (Little Donkey, Toro, Coppa)
JoAnn Clevenger, Upperline Restaurant, New Orleans
Alex Raij and Eder Montero, NYC (La Vara, Saint Julivert Fisherie, Txikito)
Jason Wang, Xi’an Famous Foods, NYC

Outstanding Wine Program
Bacchanal, New Orleans
Canard, Portland, OR
Miller Union, Atlanta
Night+Market Sahm, Venice, CA
Spiaggia, Chicago

Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Producer
Scott Blackwell and Ann Marshall, High Wire Distilling Co., Charleston, SC
Cathy Corison, Corison Winery, St. Helena, CA
Drew Kulsveen, Willett Distillery, Bardstown, KY
Todd Leopold and Scott Leopold, Leopold Bros., Denver
Lance Winters, St. George Spirits, Alameda, CA

Rising Star Chef of the Year
Will Aghajanian and Liz Johnson, the Catbird Seat, Nashville
Irene Li, Mei Mei, Boston
Gaby Maeda, State Bird Provisions, San Francisco
Ashleigh Shanti, Benne on Eagle, Asheville, NC
Paola Velez, Kith/Kin, Washington, D.C.
Jon Yao, Kato, Los Angeles

Best Chef: California
Jeremy Fox, Birdie G’s, Santa Monica, CA
Brandon Jew, Mister Jiu’s, San Francisco
Jessica Koslow, Sqirl, Los Angeles
Mourad Lahlou, Mourad, San Francisco
Joshua Skenes, Angler, San Francisco
Pim Techamuanvivit, Kin Khao, San Francisco

Best Chef: Great Lakes
Jason Hammel, Lula Cafe, Chicago
Gene Kato, Momotaro, Chicago
Noah Sandoval, Oriole, Chicago
John Shields and Karen Urie Shields, Smyth, Chicago
Erick Williams, Virtue, Chicago
Lee Wolen, Boka, Chicago

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
Amy Brandwein, Centrolina, Washington, D.C.
Nicholas Elmi, Laurel, Philadelphia
Rich Landau, Vedge, Philadelphia
Cristina Martinez, South Philly Barbacoa, Philadelphia
Jon Sybert, Tail Up Goat, Washington, D.C.
Cindy Wolf, Charleston, Baltimore

Best Chef: Midwest
Steven Brown, Tilia, Minneapolis
Michael Corvino, Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room, Kansas City, MO
Michael Gallina, Vicia, St. Louis
Jamie Malone, Grand Café, Minneapolis
Christina Nguyen, Hai Hai, Minneapolis

Best Chef: Mountain
Carrie Baird, Bar Dough, Denver
Jen Castle and Blake Spalding, Hell’s Backbone Grill & Farm, Boulder, UT
Jeff Drew, Snake River Grill, Jackson, WY
Caroline Glover, Annette, Aurora, CO
Dana Rodriguez, Super Mega Bien, Denver
Kelly Whitaker, the Wolf’s Tailor, Denver

Best Chef: New York State
Sean Gray, Momofuku Ko, NYC
Brooks Headley, Superiority Burger, NYC
Junghyun Park, Atomix, NYC
Daniela Soto-Innes, ATLA, NYC
Alex Stupak, Empellón, NYC

Best Chef: Northeast
Vien Dobui, CÔNG TỬ BỘT, Portland, ME
Tiffani Faison, Orfano, Boston
Ben Jackson, Drifters Wife, Portland, ME
Greg Mitchell and Chad Conley, Palace Diner, Biddeford, ME
Krista Kern Desjarlais, the Purple House, North Yarmouth, ME
Cassie Piuma, Sarma, Somerville, MA

Best Chef: Northwest & Pacific
Peter Cho, Han Oak, Portland, OR
Gregory Gourdet, Departure, Portland, OR
Chris Kajioka and Anthony Rush, Senia, Honolulu
Katy Millard, Coquine, Portland, OR
Kristen Murray, MÅURICE, Portland, OR
Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule, Seattle

Best Chef: South
Jose Enrique, Jose Enrique, San Juan, PR
Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus, Coquette, New Orleans
Michael Gulotta, Maypop, New Orleans
Mason Hereford, Turkey and the Wolf, New Orleans
Isaac Toups, Toups’ Meatery, New Orleans

Best Chef: Southeast
Katie Button, Cúrate, Asheville, NC
Cassidee Dabney, the Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN
Cheetie Kumar, Garland, Raleigh, NC
Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Memphis, TN
Julia Sullivan, Henrietta Red, Nashville

Best Chef: Southwest
Dan Krohmer, Other Mama, Las Vegas
Jonathan Perno, Campo at Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM
Chrysa Robertson, Rancho Pinot, Scottsdale, AZ
Silvana Salcido Esparza, Barrio Café Gran Reserva, Phoenix
Jeff Smedstad, Elote Cafe, Sedona, AZ
James Trees, Esther’s Kitchen, Las Vegas

Best Chef: Texas
Kevin Fink, Emmer & Rye, Austin
Michael Fojtasek, Olamaie, Austin
Anita Jaisinghani, Pondicheri, Houston
Steve McHugh, Cured, San Antonio
Trong Nguyen, Crawfish & Noodles, Houston

Restaurant Design Awards: 75 Seats and Under
Project: HALL by Odo

Firms: Heliotrope Architects
Project: Rupee, Seattle

Firms: Spoonbill Watering Hole & Restaurant, Flywheel Co., and Vermilion Architects, LLC
Project: Spoonbill Watering Hole & Restaurant, Lafayette, LA

Restaurant Design Awards: 76 Seats and Over
Firms: Hacin + Associates
Project: Shore Leave, Boston

Firms: Ken Fulk Inc
Project: Swan & Bar Bevy, Miami

Firms: Klein Agency and ORA
Project: Auburn, Los Angeles

Restaurant Design Awards: Outstanding Design of Alternative Eating & Drinking Places
Firms: Lori Chemla
Project: Carissa’s the Bakery, East Hampton, NY

Firms: Stonehill Taylor, MCR/Morse Development, and Aaron Sciandra
Project: Connie, Queens, NY

Firms: Studio Dewberry and Workstead
Project: Citrus Club, Charleston, SC

Restaurant Design Awards: Design Icon
Chez Panisse, Berkeley, CA

2020 James Beard Restaurant Award Finalists Announced