James Beard Awards have been called the Oscars of the culinary world. One Orange County chef is a semifinalist.
Emily Holland , Patch Staff
CALIFORNIA – Forty-six California culinary wonders are semifinalists for 2019 James Beard Awards. The regional semifinalists for the awards — sometimes referred to as the Oscars of the culinary world — were announced Wednesday.
A total of 46 eateries, bars, bakeries, chefs and bakers in California are semifinalists in their respective categories below:
Best New Restaurant:
- Angler, San Francisco
- Bavel, Los Angeles
- Majordomo, Los Angeles
- Nyum Bai, Oakland
- Greg Mindel, Neighbor Bakehouse, San Francisco
- Avery Ruzicka, Manresa Bread, Los Gatos
Outstanding Bar Program:
- Bar Agricole, San Francisco
- Old Lightning, Marina Del Rey
- David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos
- Christopher Kostow, The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena
- Corey Lee, Benu, San Francisco
Outstanding Pastry Chef:
- Juan Contreras, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco
- Margarita Manzke, République, Los Angeles
- Michelle Polzine, 20th Century Café, San Francisco
- Nopa, San Francisco
- Park's BBQ, Los Angeles
- Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz, San Francisco (Mission Chinese Food, The Perennial, Commonwealth)
- n/naka, Los Angeles
- Saison, San Francisco
- Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco
Outstanding Wine Program:
- Benu, San Francisco
- Great China, Berkeley
- Night + Market, Los Angeles
Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Producer:
- Cathy Corison, Corison Winery, St. Helena
- Steve Matthiasson, Matthiasson Wines, Napa
- Yoshihiro Sako, Den Sake Brewery, Oakland
- Lance Winters, St. George Spirits, Alameda
Rising Star Chef of the Year:
- Alexander Hong, Sorrel, San Francisco
- Jonathan Yao, Kato, Los Angeles
Best Chef: West
- Genet Agonafer, Meals by Genet, Los Angeles
- Gabriela Cámara, Cala, San Francisco
- Michael Cimarusti, Providence, Los Angeles
- Jeremy Fox, Rustic Canyon, Santa Monica
- Matthew Kammerer, Harbor House Inn, Elk
- Jessica Koslow, Sqirl, Los Angeles
- Brandon Rodgers and Ian Scaramuzza, In Situ, San Francisco
- Travis Lett, Gjelina, Venice
- Niki Nakayama, n/naka, Los Angeles
- Dominica Rice-Cisneros, Cosecha Café, Oakland
- Carlos Salgado, Taco María, Costa Mesa
- Joshua Skenes, Saison, San Francisco
- James Syhabout, Commis, Oakland
- Karen Taylor, El Molino Central, Sonoma
- Pim Techamuanvivit, Kin Khao, San Francisco
- Kris Yenbamroong, Night + Market, Los Angeles
- Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins, El Jardín, San Diego
The prestigious Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists represent a wide range of culinary talent, from exceptional chefs and dining destinations nationally and across 10 different regions. The 21 award categories include best new restaurants, outstanding bars, outstanding bakers and rising star chefs 30 years of age or younger.
The final winners will be announced during a press conference in Houston on Wednesday, March 27. It will be hosted by James Beard Award–winning chef Hugo Ortega at his namesake Mexican restaurant, Hugo's.
The James Beard Foundation solicits entries for the awards in mid-October of each year. They are reviewed by the Restaurant and Chef Committee to determine eligibility and regional representation, and are then voted on by more than 600 judges from across the country to determine the final nominees.
The same group of judges, which is comprised of leading regional restaurant critics, food and wine editors, culinary educators, and past James Beard Award winners, then votes on the nominees to select the winners.
Tabulations to determine the nominees and winners are done by independent auditors Lutz & Carr. The governing Awards committee, board of trustees, and staff of the James Beard Foundation do not vote, and the results are kept confidential until the presentation of winners in May.
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