Big press release from the James Beard Foundation today – the 2018 James Beard Awards nominations
NEW YORK, NY (February 15, 2018) – The James Beard Foundation announced today its list of Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists for the 28th annual James Beard Foundation Awards. Selected from a list of more than 20,000 online entries, the prestigious group of semifinalists in 21 categories represents a wide range of culinary talent, from exceptional chefs and dining destinations nationally and in ten different regions across the U.S., to the best new restaurants, outstanding bar programs, bakers, and rising star chefs 30 or younger. See this year’s full semifinalist list at the end of this press release or online at jamesbeard.org/awards
On Wednesday, March 14, 2018, the Foundation will announce the final nominees for all Award categories during a press conference at Parc, hosted by James Beard Award–winning restaurateur Stephen Starr, in Philadelphia. The event will take place at 9:30 A.M. EST and will be streamed live online (details coming soon on the JBF website) and live-Tweeted via the James Beard Foundation Twitter feed at twitter.com/beardfoundation.
How the Restaurant and Chef Awards Work
The James Beard Foundation holds an online open call for entries beginning in mid-October of each year. This year, more than 20,000 entries were received, a list which the Restaurant and Chef Committee reviews to determine eligibility and regional representation. Based on the results and eligibility requirements for each award, the committee then produces a nominating ballot that lists the semifinalists in each of the 21 Restaurant and Chef Award categories. The list of semifinalists is then sent to an independent volunteer panel of more than 600 judges from across the country. This panel, which comprises leading regional restaurant critics, food and wine editors, culinary educators, and past James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Award winners, votes on specific award categories to determine the final five nominees in each category. The same judges then vote on these five 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. Awards policies and procedures can be reviewed on the James Beard site at jamesbeard.org/awards/policies .
The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala will be held at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on Monday, May 7, 2018. During the event, which is open to the public, awards for the Restaurant and Chef and Restaurant Design categories will be handed out, along with special achievement awards Humanitarian of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, Design Icon, Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America, and America’s Classics. A gala reception, featuring acclaimed chefs and beverage professionals from across the country, will immediately follow.
Winners of the 2018 James Beard Media Awards will be announced at an exclusive event honoring the nation’s top cookbook authors, culinary broadcast producers and hosts, and food journalists at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City on Friday, April 27, 2018.
Established in 1990, the James Beard Awards recognize culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields and furthers the Foundation’s mission to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. Each award category has an individual committee made up of industry professionals who volunteer their time to oversee the policies, procedures, and selection of judges for their respective Awards program. All JBF Award winners receive a certificate and a medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia. There are no cash prizes.
The 2018 James Beard Foundation Awards are proudly hosted by Choose Chicago and the Illinois Restaurant Association and presented in association with Chicago O’Hare and Midway International Airports as well as the following partners: Premier Sponsors: All-Clad Metalcrafters, American Airlines, HMSHost, Illinois Office of Tourism, Lavazza, S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water, TABASCO® Sauce, Woodford Reserve Bourbon; Supporting Sponsors: Breville®, Corporate Essentials, Hyatt, Robert Mondavi Winery, Skuna Bay Salmon, Taylor Precision Products, Valrhona, Windstar Cruises; Gala Reception Sponsors: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Ecolab, Front of the House®, Kendall College; with additional support from: Chefwear, Emmi Roth, Loacker, and VerTerra Dinnerware.
2018 James Beard Foundation Awards Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists
- Ken Forkish: Trifecta Tavern
- Alison Pray, Standard Baking Co.
Outstanding Bar Program – Clyde Common
Outstanding Chef – Gabriel Rucker: Le Pigeon
Oustanding Pastry Chef – Kristen Murray: Måurice
Outstanding Restaurateur – Earl Ninsom: (Langbaan, Paadee, Hat Yai, and others), Monique Siu: Castagna, Cafe Castagna
Outstanding Wine Program – Noble Rot
Rising Star Chef of the Year – Maya Lovelace: Mae
Best Chef: Northwest:
- Peter Cho, Han Oak
- Gregory Gourdet, Departure.
- Ha (Christina) Luu and Peter Luu, Ha VL
- Katy Millard, Coquine
- Sarah Minnick, Lovely’s Fifty Fifty
- Bonnie Morales, Kachka
- Narumol (Nong) Poonsukwattana, Nong’s Khao Man Gai
- Ryan Roadhouse, Nodoguro
- Justin Woodward, Castagna
Congratulations to the nominees.