James Beard Award Finalists 2019: Bay Area Represented in Virtually Every Category

Albeit largely by men and male-run restaurants, and with names that have been nominated in the past.

The James Beard Foundation released its list of 2019 finalists for restaurants and chefs, journalists, and design this morning. When the semifinalists for the 29th annual awards were announced in February, the Bay Area and Wine Country were well-represented, and that has not changed. As a general rule, smaller or more modestly ambitious spots fell by the wayside, but the region remains represented in virtually every category — frequently by people who’ve bee finalists in the past.

Angler and Saison (and chef-owner Joshua Skenes) won several nods, and Corey Lee (Benu) and David Kinch (Manresa) pop up as well. Very few women’s names appear, however. In one notable case, Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn, Bar Crenn, and Petit Crenn is not a finalist, but her pastry chef Juan Contreras is.

That’s less so in the journalism arena, where Samin Nosrat of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat fame is a finalist both for her Netflix show and in the category with the sweetest name, “Outstanding Personality.” Notably, the Chronicle‘s Jonathan Kauffman is a two-time finalist, and Racist Sandwich, the podcast by restaurant critic Soleil Ho shows up as well.

On April 26, James Beard Media Awards winners will be revealed at a ceremony in New York, while the remainder of the awards are bestowed at a dinner at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on May 6. See all Bay Area finalists below, with the full list here

Restaurant and Chef Awards

Best New Restaurant
A restaurant opened in 2018 that already demonstrates excellence in cuisine and hospitality, and that is likely to make a significant impact in years to come.
Angler, San Francisco

Outstanding Baker
A pastry chef or baker who demonstrates exceptional skill, integrity, and character in the preparation of desserts, pastries, or breads served in a retail bakery. Must have been working as a pastry chef or baker for the past five years.
Avery Ruzicka, Manresa Bread, Los Gatos, CA

Outstanding Bar Program
A restaurant or bar that demonstrates exceptional care and skill in the selection, preparation, and serving of cocktails, spirits, and/or beer.
Bar Agricole, San Francisco

Outstanding Chef 
A chef who sets high culinary standards and who has served as a positive example for other food professionals. Must have been working as a chef for the past five years.
David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA
Corey Lee, Benu, San Francisco

Outstanding Pastry Chef 
A pastry chef or baker who demonstrates exceptional skill, integrity, and character in the preparation of desserts, pastries, or breads served in a restaurant. Must have been working as a pastry chef or baker for the past five years.
Juan Contreras, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco

Outstanding Restaurant 
A restaurant that demonstrates consistent excellence in food, atmosphere, service, and operations. Must have been in business 10 or more consecutive years.
Quince, San Francisco

Outstanding Service
A restaurant in operation for five or more years that demonstrates consistency and exceptional thoughtfulness in hospitality and service.
Saison, San Francisco
Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco

Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Producer
A beer, wine, or spirits producer who demonstrates consistency and exceptional skill in his or her craft.
Cathy Corison, Corison Winery, St. Helena, CA
Steve Matthiasson, Matthiasson Wines, Napa, CA
Lance Winters, St. George Spirits, Alameda, CA

Rising Star Chef of the Year 
A chef age 30 or younger who displays exceptional talent, character, and leadership ability, and who is likely to make a significant impact in years to come.
Alexander Hong, Sorrel, San Francisco

Best Chef: West (CA, HI, NV)
Joshua Skenes
, Saison, San Francisco


Journalism Awards

Restaurant and Professional
Books written by a culinary professional or restaurant chef with recipes that may include advanced cooking techniques, using specialty ingredients and professional equipment, including culinary arts textbooks.
Rich Table, Evan Rich and Sarah Rich

Narrative nonfiction books including memoirs, culinary tourism, investigative journalism, food advocacy, and critical analysis of food and foodways for a general audience.
Hippie Food: How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat, Jonathan Kauffman (William Morrow)

Outstanding Personality
Samin Nosrat
Salt Fat Acid Heat (Netflix)

Racist Sandwich – Erasing Black Barbecue (Airs on: iTunes, Racist Sandwich, and Stitcher)

Radio Show
California Foodways – Providing a Taste of Oaxaca to Central Valley; Can Ag and Wildlife Co-Exist? Rice Farmers Think So; and Frozen Burrito Royalty in the Central Valley (Airs on: KQED, California Foodways)

Television Program, on Location
Salt Fat Acid Heat – Salt (Airs on: Netflix)

M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award
“A Kingdom from Dust” by Mark Arax, The California Sunday Magazine

“‘You Died’: The Resurrection of a Cook in the Heart of SF’s Demanding Culinary Scene”
Jonathan Kauffman
San Francisco Chronicle


Design Awards

Other Eating and Drinking Places
Eligible establishments include bars, quick service and fast casual restaurants, diners, counter service, food trucks and food halls, ice cream and cake shops, pop-ups, take-out counters, and coffee bars and shops completed or renovated since January 1, 2016.
Firm: AvroKO
Project: China Live, San Francisco

Firm: Schwartz and Architecture (S^A)
Project: El Pípila, San Francisco


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