James Beard Foundation Finalists Announced, Here's Who's Going to Chicago

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The New York breakfast of champions. Photo by Nicole Plue (winner of Outstanding Pastry Chef 2010).

The list of finalists for the 2015 James Beard Foundation Awards was announced while we were away, and we were happy to return and see a pretty strong SF Bay Area showing. Shout-out to Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, who are up for Best New Restaurant again, this time for The Progress (State Bird won last time). Kudos to Manresa’s Jessica Largey, nominated for Rising Star Chef of the Year. Outstanding Restaurateur nominations include Cindy Pawlcyn (that has to feel good after the rough year she has suffered due to a car accident) and Michael Mina, while William Werner/Craftsman & Wolves and Belinda Leong and Michel Suas (b. Patisserie) are up for Outstanding Baker, and Trick Dog and Bar Agricole are both up for Outstanding Bar Program.

It makes total sense Quince would be nominated for Outstanding Service, and fingers crossed for A16 for Shelley Lindgren’s Outstanding Wine Program (meanwhile, Rajat Parr was nominated for Outstanding Beer, Wine, or Spirits professional). Up for Best Chef: West are the unstoppable Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski for State Bird Provisions, plus Matthew Accarrino for SPQR, and Corey Lee for Benu.

You can check out all the nominees, which include Restaurant Design, and the Book, Broadcast and Journalism awards, and, of course, Lifetime Achievement, Humanitarian of the Year, Who’s Who, and America’s Classics.

The James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast, and Journalism Awards Dinner is on Friday April 24th at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City, while the James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception will take place for the first time at Lyric Opera of Chicago on Monday May 4th. (Which means winners will not be able to pose their medal with an egg on a roll the next morning for their hangover breakfast anymore.)

Speaking of the James Beard Foundation, their scholarship program is an incredible way for aspiring and established chefs to gain some extra funding to further their culinary education. Know someone (maybe you?) talented who could use some additional support to get the skills they need? Applications can be found right here beginning April 1st, and more information on the different types of scholarships can be found here (and there are some great ones, including international, work/study, and wine-oriented options). Good luck out there, you talented people, you!