The James Beard Foundation announced its restaurant and chef semifinalists this morning, with many past nominees showing up on the 2017 lists. But of the of the newcomers by necessity, the 27 contenders for Best New Restaurant, three are in the Bay Area: S.F.’s own In Situ and Tartine Manufactory, as well as Healdsburg’s SingleThread. In Situ is a notable selection because of the way its menu is laid out, with a rotating roster of 80 dishes submitted by renowned chefs worldwide.
In other categories, Belinda Leong and Michael Suas of B. Patisserie are nominated for Outstanding Baker. For Outstanding Bar Program, Bar Agricole, and the Esquire Tavern got nods. David Kinch of Manresa in Los Gatos and Christopher Kostow of St. Helena’s Restaurant at Meadowood are nominees in the Outstanding Chef category, while Melissa Chou of Mister Jiu’s is a semifinalist in the Outstanding Pastry Chef category. Mister Jiu’s own Sara Hauman was also recognized as a Rising Star Chef of the Year.
Nopa and Quince are in the Outstanding Restaurant list, while Gabriela Cámara of Cala is a semifinalist for Best Restaurateur and Saison is on the Outstanding Service list. The wine categories are where the Bay Area is frequently overrepresented (for obvious reasons) and Benu and St. Helena’s Press are semifinalists for Outstanding Wine Program, while in the category of Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Professional, the region has five candidates: Vinnie Cilurzo, of Santa Rosa’s Russian River Brewing Company (whom SF Weekly profiled in last week’s cover story about Pliny the Younger), Miljenko Grgich of Rutherford’s Grgich Hills Estate, Ted Lemon of Sebastopol’s Littorai Wines, Steve Matthiasson of Napa’s Matthiasson Wines, and Lance Winters of Alameda’s St. George Spirits.
And in the regional awards, contenders for Best Chef of the West — which covers California, Hawaii, and Nevada — Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn, Christian Geideman of Berkeley’s Ippuku, Ravi Kapur of Liholiho Yacht Club, Corey Lee of Benu (as well as of Best New Restaurant nominee In Situ), Anthony Mangieri of Una Pizza Napoletana, Preeti Mistry of Juhu Beach Club, Joshua Skenes of Saison, James Syhabout of Hawker Fare are nominated.
Much to our surprise, nobody nominated White Castle in the category of Best Restaurant Trend for becoming quite fancy on Valentine’s Day.
The list of finalists will be revealed March 15, and winners in the media categories announced April 25, with the restaurant winners announced in Chicago on May 1. The full list of semifinalist nominees is below. Congratulations to all!