The James Beard Award finalists were just announced yesterday following last month's announcements of the semi-finalists or "long list" and low and behold, Liholiho Yacht Club will be competing with four other restaurant for the title of Best New Restaurant in the country. Also among the nominees are SPQR's Matthew Accarrino, Benu's Corey Lee, and Dominique Crenn (Atelier Crenn, Petit Crenn) who will all by vying for Best Chef in the West; Craftsman & Wolves pastry chef William Werner who's nominated again for Outstanding Baker along with B. Patisserie's Belinda Leong and Michel Suas; local chef-restaurateurs Michael Mina and Cindy Pawlcyn who are both up for the Outstanding Restaurateur honor; Quince's Michael Tusk who's nominated for Oustanding Chef in the country; and Bar Agricole which is an annual contender for Oustanding Bar Program, though it has yet to take home the honor.
As is typical with these awards, dubbed "Oscars of the food world," chefs are often nominated multiple years in a row until they win, and the same is true of restaurants. San Francisco has won in the national category of Outstanding Restaurant in two of the last four years, with Slanted Door winning in 2015, and Boulevard winning in 2012. SF has also beat out LA in the Best Chef: West category the past two years with Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski of State Bird Provisions and The Progress taking it in 2015, and Coi chef-owner Daniel Patterson taking it in 2014 indicating, from a political standpoint, that an LA chef like Jeremy Fox (formerly of Napa's Ubuntu) or multi-year nominee Michael Cimarusti is most likely next in line.
Similarly, SF's A16 took home the prize for Outstanding Wine Program in 2015, so even though we boast some some pretty incredible wine programs across the Bay Area, we were shut out of the short-list this year. (See all of last year's winners here.)
The awards will take place in Chicago for the second year in a row, on May 2, and likely all of the nominated chefs you see below along with nominating committee member and SF Chronicle critic Michael Bauer will all be there.
Below, for reference in your foodinista travels, the full list of this year's nominees, with SF ones in bold. You can find the book, TV, and media finalists here.
Best New Restaurant
Death & Taxes, Raleigh, N.C.
Liholiho Yacht Club, San Francisco
Shaya, New Orleans
Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery + Café, Boston
Mark Furstenberg, Bread Furst, Washington, D.C.
Zachary Golper, Bien Cuit, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Belinda Leong and Michel Suas, B. Patisserie, San Francisco
William Werner, Craftsman and Wolves, San Francisco
Outstanding Bar Program
Arnaud’s French 75 Bar, New Orleans
Bar Agricole, San Francisco
Clyde Common, Portland, O.R.
Cure, New Orleans
Maison Premiere, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Sean Brock, Husk, Nashville
Suzanne Goin, Lucques, Los Angeles
Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans
Michael Solomonov, Zahav, Philadelphia
Michael Tusk, Quince, San Francisco
Outstanding Pastry Chef
Meg Galus, Boka, Chicago
Maura Kilpatrick, Oleana, Cambridge, MA
Dolester Miles, Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, AL
Dahlia Narvaez, Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles
Ghaya Oliveira, Daniel, NYC
Jennifer Yee, Lafayette, NYC
Frasca Food & Wine, Boulder, C.O.
Highlands Bar and Grill, Birmingham, A.L.
Momofuku Noodle Bar, NYC
The Spotted Pig, NYC
Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz, Boka Restaurant Group, Chicago (Boka, Girl & the Goat, Momotaro, Swift & Sons, and others)
Ken Friedman, NYC (The Spotted Pig, The Breslin, Tosca Café)
Michael Mina, Mina Restaurants, San Francisco (Michael Mina, Bourbon Steak, RN74, and others)
Cindy Pawlcyn, Napa, C.A. (Mustards Grill, Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen, Cindy's Waterfront at the Monterey Bay Aquarium)
Stephen Starr, Starr Restaurants, Philadelphia (Serpico, the Dandelion, Talula's Garden, and others)
Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, N.Y.
Eleven Madison Park, NYC
North Pond, Chicago
Quince, San Francisco
Outstanding Wine Program
Bern’s Steakhouse, Tampa, F.L.
Commander’s Palace, New Orleans
FIG, Charleston, S.C.
Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional
Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, D.E.
Ron Cooper, Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal, Ranchos de Taos, N.M.
Miljenko Grgich, Grgich Hills Estate, Rutherford, C.A.
Rob Tod, Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, M.E.
Harlen Wheatley Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, K.Y.
Rising Star Chef of the Year
Alex Bois, High Street on Market, Philadelphia
Angela Dimayuga, Mission Chinese Food, NYC
Grae Nonas, Olamaie, Austin
Matt Rudofker, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, NYC
Daniela Soto-Innes, Cosme, NYC
Jenner Tomaska, Next, Chicago
Best Chef: West (CA, HI, NV)
Matthew Accarrino, SPQR, San Francisco
Michael Cimarusti, Providence, Los Angeles
Dominique Crenn, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco
Jeremy Fox, Rustic Canyon, Santa Monica, C.A.
Corey Lee, Benu, San Francisco
Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Animal, Los Angeles
Best Chef: Great Lakes (I.L., I.N., M.I., O.H.)
Abraham Conlon, Fat Rice, Chicago
Curtis Duffy, Grace, Chicago
Lee Wolen, Boka, Chicago
Erling Wu-Bower, Nico Osteria, Chicago
Andrew Zimmerman, Sepia, Chicago
Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (D.C., D.E., M.D., N.J., P.A., V.A.)
Peter Chang, Peter Chang, Arlington, V.A.
Eli Kulp, Fork, Philadelphia
Rich Landau, Vedge, Philadelphia
Aaron Silverman, Rose’s Luxury, Washington, D.C.
Greg Vernick, Vernick Food & Drink, Philadelphia
Cindy Wolf, Charleston, Baltimore
Best Chef: Midwest (I.A., K.S., M.N., M.O., N.E., N.D., S.D., W.I.)
Paul Berglund, The Bachelor Farmer, Minneapolis
Justin Carlisle, Ardent, Milwaukee
Kevin Nashan, Sidney Street Café, St. Louis
Lenny Russo, Heartland Restaurant & Farm Direct Market, St. Paul, M.N.
Kevin Willmann, Farmhaus, St. Louis
Best Chef: New York City (Five Boroughs)
Marco Canora, Hearth
Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi, Carbone
Anita Lo, Annisa
Jonathan Waxman, Barbuto
Jody Williams, Buvette
Best Chef: Northeast (C.T., M.A., M.E., M.H., N.Y. STATE, R.I., V.T.)
Karen Akunowicz, Myers + Chang, Boston
Brian Hill, Francine, Camden, M.E.
Zak Pelaccio, Fish & Game, Hudson, N.Y.
Susan Regis, Shepard, Cambridge, M.A.
Mike Wiley and Andrew Taylor Eventide Oyster Co., Portland, M.E.
Best Chef: Northwest (A.K., I.D., M.T., O.R., W.A., W.Y.)
Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton, Ox, Portland, O.R.
Mike Easton, Il Corvo Pasta, Seattle
Renee Erickson, The Whale Wins, Seattle
Justin Woodward, Castagna, Portland, O.R.
Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule, Seattle
Best Chef: South (A.L., A.R., F.L., L.A., M.S., P.R.)
Vishwesh Bhatt, Snackbar, Oxford, M.S.
Justin Devillier, La Petite Grocery, New Orleans
Jose Enrique, Jose Enrique, San Juan, P.R.
Slade Rushing, Brennan’s, New Orleans
Isaac Toups, Toups’ Meatery, New Orleans
Best Chef: Southeast (G.A., K.Y., N.C., S.C., T.N., W.V.)
Kevin Gillespie, Gunshow, Atlanta
Edward Lee, 610 Magnolia, Louisville, K.Y.
Steven Satterfield, Miller Union, Atlanta
Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Memphis
Tandy Wilson, City House, Nashville
Best Chef: Southwest (A.Z., C.O., N.M., O.K., T.X., U.T.)
Bryce Gilmore, Barley Swine, Austin
Steve McHugh, Cured, San Antonio
Hugo Ortega, Caracol, Houston
Alex Seidel, Fruition, Denver
Justin Yu, Oxheart, Houston
In the meantime, go get yourself a beef tongue steam bun before Liholiho gets any more popular with tourists.