James Beard Finalists Announced, and Corey Lee Outperforms

The Bay Area as a whole is quite well represented (although arguably, it's the usual suspects).

The James Beard Foundation announced the finalists for the 2017 James Beard Awards this morning, and the Bay Area cleaned up, with local chefs and restaurants accounting for two of the five finalists in several major categories. The winners will be announced in Chicago on May 1 — although media award winners will be known on April 25 — and the full list can be found here. Here are the highlights:

Of the five finalists for Best New Restaurant, two are here in San Francisco: In Situ and Tartine Manufactory

Belinda Leong and Michel Suas of B. Patisserie are in the Outstanding Baker category, Bar Agricole is nominated for Outstanding Bar Program, and Manresa’s David Kinch and The Restaurant at Meadowood’s Christopher Kostow are vying for Best Chef. Quince will cary the Bay Area’s torch in the Outstanding Restaurant class, and St. Helena’s Terra is up for Best Service.

Benu is among the finalists for Best Wine Program, while Grgich Hills Estate’s Miljenko “Mike” Grgich is up for Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional.

In the Best Chef in the West category — which covers California, Hawaii, and Nevada — Corey Lee of Benu and Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn. It should be emphasized that both chefs have other highly regarded restaurants, and in Lee’s case, In Situ and Benu are nominees in other categories.

And in the Outstanding Restaurant Design Awards (75 seats and under), Tiffany Kramer and Jon de la Cruz of Ken Fulk Inc. are finalists for their Golden Girls glam interior at Leo’s Oyster Bar.

Lastly, Rajat Parr of Mina Group Wine was inducted into the “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America.”

For the media recognitions, in the Beverage category for the Book Awards, Martin Cate with Rebecca Cate’s Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki got a nod, as did Lisa Morehouse‘s California Foodways (on KQED, in Best Radio Show/Audio Webcast).



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