It’s official: the James Beard Foundation has released its list of semifinalists in the 2015 Restaurant and Chef Awards, via livestream, and the Bay Area is once again well-represented. Lazy Bear and The Progress have both been longlisted for Best New Restaurant, while Manresa’s Jessica Largey and La Folie’s Jeremy Wayne are both in the running for Rising Star Chef. And of course, we’ve got talent to spare in the more august Best Chef: West and Best Restaurant categories, with a whopping nine chefs or chef teams and three restaurants (Acquerello, Greens, and Gary Danko) in the running from the Bay Area. (By comparison, L.A. has six and zero, respectively.)
Other newcomers to the running of the Beards include Traci des Jardins for Outstanding Chef, Bill Corbett and Ron Mendoza for Outstanding Pastry Chef, Russell Moore and Jennifer Puccio for Best Chef: West, La Toque for Outstanding Wine Service, Acquerello for Outstanding Restaurant, and Aubergine, Perbacco, and Saison for Outstanding Service. Perbacco and Barbacco’s Umberto Gibin has made an entry into the Restaurateur category, as has Michael Mina, with his panoply of SF restaurants.
As usual, we have our share of longlist bridesmaids as well: A16 and Press for wine, Bar Agricole and Trick Dog for cocktails, Belinda Leong and William Werner in the pastry category, Nancy Oakes and Michael Tusk for Outstanding Chef. But some other folks who made the list last year didn’t qualify this go-round, including James Syhabout for Best Chef: West, Foreign Cinema for Outstanding Restaurant, and restaurateurs Cindy Pawlcyn and Larry Mindel. And while Aziza’s Mourad Lahlou is present and accounted for, pastry chef and longtime Beard player Melissa Chou is oddly missing.
Over the next month, this “long list” will be paired down, with finalists announced Tuesday, March 24. The winners of the Chef and Restaurant awards will be announced at the official Awards Gala & Reception on Monday, May 4, 2015 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago (the first time the ceremony has been held outside of NYC).
Outstanding Bar Program
Anvil Bar & Refuge, Houston
Arnaud’s French 75 Bar, New Orleans
Bar Agricole, San Francisco
Barmini, Washington, D.C.
Butcher and the Rye, Pittsburgh
Cane & Table, New Orleans
Clyde Common, Portland, OR
The Dead Rabbit, NYC
The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., Philadelphia
The Hawthorne, Boston
Kimball House, Decatur, GA
Maison Premiere, Brooklyn, NY
The Other Room, Lincoln, NE
The Patterson House, Nashville
Portland Hunt + Alpine Club, Portland, ME
Tørst, Brooklyn, NY
Trick Dog, San Francisco
The Varnish, Los Angeles
The Violet Hour, Chicago