The last couple of years have brought a serious uptick in the national attention being given to Bay Area restaurants. And last year at the annual "food Oscars," the James Beard Foundation Awards, local chefs Danny Bowien, Christopher Kostow, and the State Bird Provisions team of Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski took home the awards for Rising Star Chef, Best Chef in the West, and Best New Restaurant, respectively. The finalists for this year's awards were announced today and the Bay Area is once again well represented all those categories, as well as Outstanding Pastry Chef (Belinda Leong, b. patisserie), Outstanding Bar Program (Bar Agricole), and Outstanding Service (Quince, and the Restaurant at Meadowood).

Also, A16 has once again gotten a nod for owner Shelley Lindgren's wine program, and Manresa's chef de cuisine Jessica Largey, who works under 2010's Best Chef in the West, David Kinch, got a nomination for Rising Star Chef. Kinch himself, because this is how these awards work, has graduated to the national Outstanding Chef category, where he gets a nod. And for the eighth or tenth time, The Slanted Door is nominated for Outstanding Restaurant, though its odds probably aren't great since they like to move that prize around the country each year, and S.F. just won in 2012, with the prize going to Boulevard.

In getting the nod for Best New Restaurant, Michael Chiarello's new waterfront Spanish spot Coqueta beat out two other S.F. semifinalists who are now out of the running: Tosca Café and The Cavalier, and this only means it's going to be even harder to get a table there. (But given that it's up against three New York competitors and S.F. took this prize last year, it's a long shot for the win.)

And once again, Coi chef Daniel Patterson is crossing his fingers for the Best Chef in the West win, because it's becoming a Susan Lucci situation, and with many consecutive years in this category, people have been saying it's "his year" to win since 2012. He'll be up against Brioza and Krasinski and Benu's Corey Lee this time around, along with another longtime nominee from L.A., Michael Cimarusti.

The rest of the chef nominees are below, and if you haven't, please do yourself a favor and check out local food writer John Birdsall's terrific and funny essay, originally published in Lucky Peach, called "America, Your Food Is So Gay," which got a nomination in the category of Food and Culture among the journalism awards. The full list of journalism nominees is here.

Best Chef: West (CA, HI, NV)
Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, State Bird Provisions, San Francisco
Michael Cimarusti, Providence, Los Angeles
Corey Lee, Benu, San Francisco
Daniel Patterson, Coi, San Francisco

Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Animal, Los Angeles

Best New Restaurant
Betony, NYC
Carbone, NYC
Coqueta, San Francisco
Estela, NYC
Pêche Seafood Grill, New Orleans

Outstanding Wine Program
A16, San Francisco
Bar Boulud, NYC
The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN
FIG, Charleston, SC
The Little Nell, Aspen, CO

Outstanding Bar Program
Bar Agricole, San Francisco
The Bar at the NoMad Hotel, NYC
Clyde Common, Portland, OR
Maison Premiere, Brooklyn, NY
The Violet Hour, Chicago

Outstanding Service
Blue Hill, NYC
Quince, San Francisco
The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, CA
Topolobampo, Chicago
Vetri, Philadelphia

Outstanding Pastry Chef
Dominique Ansel, Dominique Ansel Bakery, NYC
Dana Cree, Blackbird, Chicago
Belinda Leong, b. patisserie, San Francisco
Dahlia Narvaez, Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles
Christina Tosi, Momofuku, NYC

Outstanding Restaurateur
Barbara Lynch, Barbara Lynch Gruppo, Boston (No. 9 Park, Menton, B&G Oysters, and others)
Donnie Madia, One Off Hospitality Group, Chicago (Blackbird, Avec, The Publican, and others)
Cindy Pawlcyn, Napa Valley, CA (Mustards Grill, Cindy's Back Street Kitchen)
Caroline Styne, Los Angeles (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern, and others)
Phil Suarez, Suarez Restaurant Group, NYC (ABC Kitchen, Jean-Georges, wd~50, and others)

Restaurant Design (76 Seats and Over)

Jensen Architects
Project: SHED, Healdsburg, CA

Munge Leung
Project: Hawksworth Restaurant, Vancouver

Slade Architecture
Project: Virgin Atlantic Airway's Clubhouse at Newark Liberty International Airport, Newark, NJ

Rising Star Chef of the Year
Jimmy Bannos Jr., The Purple Pig, Chicago
Katie Button, Cúrate, Asheville, NC
Jessica Largey, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA
David Posey, Blackbird, Chicago
Blaine Wetzel, The Willows Inn on Lummi Island, Lummi Island, WA

Outstanding Restaurant
Hearth, NYC
Highlands Bar and Grill, Birmingham, AL
The Slanted Door, San Francisco
Spiaggia, Chicago
wd~50, NYC

Outstanding Chef
Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern, NYC
Sean Brock, McCrady's, Charleston, SC
Suzanne Goin, Lucques, Los Angeles
David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA
Nancy Silverton, Pizzeria Mozza, Los Angeles
Marc Vetri, Vetri, Philadelphia

Among the cookbook nominees: Chad Robertson (Tartine Book No. 3), Chronicle wine scribe Jon Bonné (The New California Wine: A Guide to the Producers and Wines Behind a Revolution in Taste), David Kinch with Christine Muhlke (Manresa: An Edible Reflection), and Taylor Boetticher and Toponia Miller of the Fatted Calf (In the Charcuterie).

Journalism Awards: John Birdsall (Lucky Peach, "America, Your Food is So Gay"), local blogger Michael Procopio for Individual Food Blog (Food for the Thoughtless), and the Chronicle's Food section for their nomination for Food Coverage in a General-Interest Publication.