JBF announces its 2016 chef and restaurant award semifinalists

collage of cookbooks and chefsThe Golden Globes are history and the Oscars are only days away, so it's officially award season. The first culinary awards aren't too far off, and the James Beard Foundation has announced its 2016 restaurant and chef award semifinalists. The rather lengthy list will be culled and finalists will be announced on March 15. If you want to score a reservation at any of the restaurants on the list, you best hurry, because it's likely they will see a spike in traffic following this announcement.

The categories for the awards include Best New Restaurant, 2016 Outstanding Baker, and Outstanding Bar Program, Outstanding Chef, Outstanding Pastry Chef, Outstanding Restaurant, and Outstanding Restaurateur, Outstanding Service, Outstanding Wine Program, Rising Star of the Year, and Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional (all US nationwide). There are also several regional awards for best chef across the United States.

Many of the names will be familiar to EYB Members as they have recently written well-received cookbooks. This list includes Corey Lee of Benu in San Francisco, Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, Travis Lett of Gjelina in Venica (CA), former Top Chef contestant Kevin Gillespie of Gunshow in Atlanta, in addition to a slew of New York City chefs.

Even though some of the names are familiar, the length of the lists means there are dozens of lesser-known chefs that you may want to investigate. Since the awards cover the entire United States, chances are if you live anywhere in the U.S. you're within reasonable driving distance of a listed restaurant. Do you see any of your favorite chefs on the list?

1 Comment

  • DelaDebbie  on  2/24/2016 at 6:39 PM

    Not sure what it means when most of the ones I'm familiar with are in the Beer category. :-) In my defense though, there's only one "local" to me here in southern Delaware. Everything else is 90+ miles away. I'll have to make note of some of these, as we do tend to make day trips to DC, Philly and Baltimore.

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