The 2020 James Beard Awards Semifinalists Are Here

Photo Credit: Boka

A new year brings a fresh crop of talented chefs and restaurants nominated for the coveted James Beard Awards, an honor bestowed to only the industry’s very best. Winning a James Beard Award means instant prestige and respect, as these awards are thought of as the highest award possible in the food world.

Being a semifinalist is impressive, though this list will still be culled twice more before the winners are announced on May 4 at a gala in Chicago. Below is the full list of nominees, with links to all restaurants available for booking now on OpenTable. Congratulations to all the semifinalists!

Outstanding Chef

A chef who sets high culinary standards and who has served as a positive example for other food professionals. Must have been working as a chef for the past five years.

Outstanding Hospitality

A restaurant in operation for five or more years that demonstrates consistency and exceptional thoughtfulness in hospitality and service. 

  • 15 Fox Place, Jersey City, NJ
  • 1919, San Juan, PR
  • Angus Barn Steakhouse, Raleigh, NC
  • Black Trumpet Bistro, Portsmouth, NH
  • Brigtsen’s, New Orleans
  • Canlis, Seattle
  • Chez Fonfon, Birmingham, AL
  • Dominique Ansel Bakery, NYC
  • HOBNOB, Racine, WI
  • Hugo’s, Houston
  • Kai, Phoenix
  • Leon’s Fine Poultry & Oyster Shop, Charleston, SC
  • Love Handle, Indianapolis
  • Marcel’s, Washington, D.C.
  • Mi Nidito Restaurant, Tucson, AZ
  • Mistral, Boston
  • Pekin Noodle Parlor, Butte, MT
  • Saison, San Francisco
  • Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco
  • Zingerman’s Roadhouse, Ann Arbor, MI

Outstanding Pastry Chef

A pastry chef or baker who demonstrates exceptional skill, integrity, and character in the preparation of desserts, pastries, or breads served in a restaurant. Must have been working as a pastry chef or baker for the past five years. 

Outstanding Restaurant

A restaurant that demonstrates consistent excellence in food, atmosphere, service, and operations. Must have been in business 10 or more consecutive years. 

Outstanding Restaurateur

A restaurateur who demonstrates creativity in entrepreneurship and integrity in restaurant operations. Must have been in the restaurant business for at least 10 years. Must not have been nominated for a James Beard Foundation chef award in the past five years.

  • Paul Bartolotta, The Bartolotta Restaurants, Milwaukee (Ristorante Bartolotta, Harbor House, Lake Park Bistro, and others)
  • Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer, JK Food Group, Boston (Little Donkey, Toro, Coppa)
  • JoAnn Clevenger, Upperline Restaurant, New Orleans
  • Sameer Eid and Samy Eid, Birmingham, MI, and Detroit (Phoenicia, Forest, Leila)
  • Benjamin Goldberg and Max Goldberg, Strategic Hospitality, Nashville (The Catbird Seat, The Patterson House, Henrietta Red, and others)
  • Ruth Gresser, Pizzeria Paradiso, Washington, D.C. (Pizzeria Paradiso)
  • Martha Hoover, Patachou Inc., Indianapolis (Café Patachou, Public Greens, Bar One Fourteen, and others)
  • Jennifer Jasinski, Beth Gruitch, Crafted Concepts, Denver (Rioja, Bistro Vendôme, Stoic & Genuine, and others)
  • Mike Mastro and Jeff Mastro, Prime Steak Concepts, Scottsdale, AZ (Dominick’s Steakhouse, Steak 44, Ocean 44)
  • Thomas McNaughton, David Steele and David White, Ne Timeas Restaurant Group, San Francisco (Flour + Water, Central Kitchen, Trick Dog)
  • Larry McGuire, McGuire Moorman Hospitality, Austin (Jeffrey’s, Perla’s, Pool Burger, and others)
  • Jay McSharry, Portsmouth, NH (Jumpin’ Jay’s Fish Cafe, Vida Cantina, Moxy, and others)
  • Ouita Michel, Ouita Michel Family of Restaurants, Lexington, KY (Holly Hill Inn, The Midway Bakery and Cafe, Honeywood, and others)
  • Willy Ng, Magic Gourmet Trading, San Francisco (Koi Palace, Dragon Beaux, Palette Tea House)
  • Akkapong “Earl” Ninsom, Portland, OR (Langbaan, PaaDee, Hat Yai)
  • Steve Palmer, The Indigo Road, Charleston, SC (Indaco, The Macintosh, O-Ku Sushi, and others)
  • Alex Raij and Eder Montero, NYC (La Vara, Saint Julivert Fisherie, Txikito)
  • Cookie Till, Margate, NJ (Steve and Cookie’s, Ventnor No. 7311)
  • Tracy Vaught, H Town Restaurant Group, Houston (Hugo’s, Xochi, Caracol, and others)
  • Jason Wang, Xi’an Famous Foods, NYC

Outstanding Wine Program

A restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence in wine service through a carefully considered wine list and a well-informed approach to helping customers choose and drink wine.

Best New Restaurant

A restaurant opened in 2019 that already demonstrates excellence in cuisine and hospitality, and that is likely to make a significant impact in years to come.

  • Automatic Seafood & Oysters, Birmingham, AL
  • Beit Rima, San Francisco
  • The Blind Goat, Houston
  • Cocina al Fondo, San Juan, PR
  • Cultura, Asheville, NC
  • Demi, Minneapolis
  • Eem, Portland, OR
  • Fox & the Knife, Boston
  • Gado Gado, Portland, OR
  • Gianna, New Orleans
  • Golden Diner, NYC
  • Il Nido, Seattle
  • iNDO, St. Louis
  • Kalaya, Philadelphia
  • Kāwi, NYC
  • Lazy Betty, Atlanta
  • Nightshade, Los Angeles
  • Oak Hill Café & Farm, Greenville, SC
  • Pasjoli, Santa Monica, CA
  • Rooster & Owl, Washington, D.C.
  • Saffron De Twah, Detroit
  • Salaryman, Dallas
  • Squable, Houston
  • Sunday Vinyl, Denver
  • Tanám, Somerville, MA
  • Thamee, Washington, D.C.
  • Thattu, Chicago
  • Tzuco, Chicago
  • Vecina, Phoenix
  • Verjus, San Francisco

Outstanding Baker

A pastry chef or baker who demonstrates exceptional skill, integrity, and character in the preparation of desserts, pastries, or breads served in a retail bakery. Must have been working as a pastry chef or baker for the past five years.

  • Kim Boyce, Bakeshop, Portland, OR
  • Spencer Budros, Pistacia Vera, Columbus, OH
  • Evrim Dogu and Evin Dogu, Sub Rosa Bakery, Richmond, VA
  • Tova du Plessis, Essen Bakery, Philadelphia
  • Graison Gill, Bellegarde Bakery, New Orleans
  • Zachary Golper, Bien Cuit, NYC
  • Clyde Greenhouse, Kessler Baking Studio, Dallas
  • Don Guerra, Barrio Bread, Tucson, AZ
  • Briana Holt, Tandem Coffee + Bakery, Portland, ME
  • Maura Kilpatrick, Sofra Bakery, Cambridge, MA
  • Ayako Kurokawa, Burrow, NYC
  • Lisa Ludwinski, Sister Pie, Detroit
  • Moshit Mizrachi-Gabbitas, Janjou Pâtisserie, Boise, ID
  • David Norman, Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden, Austin
  • Taylor Petrehn, 1900 Barker, Lawrence, KS
  • Nathaniel Reid, Nathaniel Reid Bakery, Kirkwood, MO
  • Avery Ruzicka, Manresa Bread, Los Gatos, CA
  • Matt Tinder, Saboteur Bakery, Bremerton, WA
  • Chris Wilkins, Root Baking Co., Atlanta
  • Na Young Ma, Proof Bakery, Los Angeles

Outstanding Bar Program

A restaurant or bar that demonstrates exceptional care and skill in the selection, preparation, and serving of cocktails, spirits, and/or beer. 

  • Anvil Bar & Refuge, Houston
  • The Atomic Lounge, Birmingham, AL
  • The Baldwin Bar, Woburn, MA
  • Bar Leather Apron, Honolulu
  • Clavel Mezcaleria, Baltimore
  • Colita, Minneapolis
  • Existing Conditions, NYC
  • Expatriate, Portland, OR
  • Horse Inn, Lancaster, PA
  • Kimball House, Decatur, GA
  • La Factoría, San Juan, PR
  • Las Almas Rotas, Dallas
  • Leyenda, Brooklyn, NY
  • Little Rituals, Phoenix
  • Lost Lake, Chicago
  • OTOTO, Los Angeles
  • Novare Res Bier Café, Portland, ME
  • Sugar House, Detroit
  • Trick Dog, San Francisco
  • Williams & Graham, Denver

Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Producer

A beer, wine, or spirits producer who demonstrates consistency and exceptional skill in his or her craft.

  • Scott Blackwell and Ann Marshall, High Wire Distilling Co., Charleston, SC
  • Jean Broillet IV, Tired Hands Brewing Company, Ardmore, PA
  • Cathy Corison, Corison Winery, St. Helena, CA
  • Brianne Day, Day Wines, Dundee, OR
  • Austin Evans and Richard Patrick Jr., Cathead Distillery, Jackson, MS
  • David Favela, Border X Brewing, San Diego
  • Aaron Fox and Daniel de la Nuez, Forthave Spirits, NYC
  • Deirdre Heekin, La Garagista Farm + Winery, Barnard, VT
  • Nancy Irelan and Mike Schnelle, Red Tail Ridge Winery, Penn Yan, NY
  • Marika Josephson and Aaron Kleidon, Scratch Brewing Company, Ava, IL
  • Drew Kulsveen, Willett Distillery, Bardstown, KY
  • Todd Leopold and Scott Leopold, Leopold Bros., Denver
  • Steve Luke, Cloudburst Brewing, Seattle
  • André Hueston Mack, Maison Noir Wines, McMinnville, OR
  • Kim McPherson, McPherson Cellars, Lubbock, TX
  • Stephen Paul, Hamilton Distillers, Tucson, AZ
  • Yoshihiro Sako, Den Sake Brewery, Oakland, CA
  • Jeffrey Stuffings and Michael Stuffings, Jester King Brewery, Austin
  • Rutger de Vink, RdV Vineyards, Delaplane, VA
  • Lance Winters, St. George Spirits, Alameda, CA

Rising Star Chef of the Year

A chef age 30 or younger who displays exceptional talent, character, and leadership ability, and who is likely to make a significant impact in years to come.

Best Chefs

Chefs who set high culinary standards and also demonstrate integrity and admirable leadership skills in their respective regions. A nominee may be from any kind of dining establishment but must have been working as a chef for at least five years, with the three most recent years spent in the region.

Best Chef: California

Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH)

  • James Anderson, Ray Ray’s Hog Pit, Columbus, OH
  • Abra Berens, Granor Farm, Three Oaks, MI
  • Thai Dang, HaiSous, Chicago
  • Brian Jupiter, Frontier, Chicago
  • Gene Kato, Momotaro, Chicago
  • Ji Hye Kim, Miss Kim, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Jason Hammel, Lula Cafe, Chicago
  • Andy Hollyday, Selden Standard, Detroit
  • Allie La Valle-Umansky, Jeremy Umansky, and Kenny Scott, Larder Delicatessen & Bakery, Cleveland
  • Abbi Merriss, Bluebeard, Indianapolis
  • Ethan Pikas, Cellar Door Provisions, Chicago
  • Noah Sandoval, Oriole, Chicago
  • Ryan Santos, Please, Cincinnati
  • John Shields and Karen Urie Shields, Smyth, Chicago
  • James Rigato, Mabel Gray, Hazel Park, MI
  • Mike Ransom, Ima, Detroit
  • Mariya Russell, Kikkō, Chicago
  • Sarah Welch, Marrow, Detroit
  • Erick Williams, Virtue, Chicago
  • Lee Wolen, Boka, Chicago

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)

Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)

  • Dane Baldwin, The Diplomat, Milwaukee
  • Andrea Baumgardner, BernBaum’s, Fargo, ND
  • Karen Bell, Bavette La Boucherie, Milwaukee
  • Steven Brown, Tilia, Minneapolis
  • Michael Corvino, Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room, Kansas City, MO
  • Daniel del Prado, Martina, Minneapolis
  • Linda Duerr, The Restaurant at 1900, Mission Woods, KS
  • Michael Gallina, Vicia, St. Louis
  • Nicholas Goellner, The Antler Room, Kansas City, MO
  • Vaughn Good, Fox and Pearl, Kansas City, MO
  • Lona Luo, Lona’s Lil Eats, St. Louis
  • Benjamin Maides, Au Courant Regional Kitchen, Omaha, NE
  • Jamie Malone, Grand Café, Minneapolis
  • Jesse Mendica, Olive + Oak, Webster Groves, MO
  • Loryn Nalic, Balkan Treat Box, Webster Groves, MO
  • Christina Nguyen, Hai Hai, Minneapolis
  • Sean Pharr, Mint Mark, Madison, WI
  • Joe Tripp, Harbinger, Des Moines, IA
  • Hai Truong, Ngon Vietnamese Bistro, St. Paul, MN
  • David Utterback, Yoshitomo, Omaha, NE

Best Chef: Mountain (CO, ID, MT, UT, WY) 

Best Chef: New York State 

  • Einat Admony, Balaboosta, NYC
  • Albert Bartley, Top Taste, Kingston, NY
  • Emma Bengtsson, Aquavit, NYC
  • Nick Curtola, The Four Horsemen, NYC
  • David DiBari, The Cookery, Dobbs Ferry, NY
  • Eric Gao, O Mandarin, Hartsdale, NY
  • Sean Gray, Momofuku Ko, NYC
  • Brooks Headley, Superiority Burger, NYC
  • Jenny Kwak, Haenyeo, NYC
  • Chintan Pandya, Adda, NYC
  • Kyo Pang, Kopitiam, NYC
  • Junghyun Park, Atomix, NYC
  • Carla Perez-Gallardo and Hannah Black, Lil’ Deb’s Oasis, Hudson, NY
  • Erik Ramirez, Llama Inn, NYC
  • Ann Redding and Matt Danzer, Uncle Boons, NYC
  • Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli, Don Angie, NYC
  • Daniela Soto-Innes, ATLA, NYC
  • Jeremiah Stone and Fabián von Hauske, Wildair, NYC
  • Alex Stupak, Empellón, NYC
  • Helen You, Dumpling Galaxy, NYC

Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT)

Best Chef: Northwest & Pacific (AK, HI, OR, WA) 

  • Chera Amlag, Hood Famous Cafe + Bar, Seattle
  • Jay Blackinton, Hogstone’s Wood Oven, Orcas Island, WA
  • Peter Cho, Han Oak, Portland, OR
  • Logan Cox, Homer, Seattle
  • Gregory Gourdet, Departure, Portland, OR
  • Sun Hong, By Tae, Seattle
  • Chris Kajioka and Anthony Rush, Senia, Honolulu
  • Mitch Mayers, Sawyer, Seattle
  • Katy Millard, Coquine, Portland, OR
  • Sarah Minnick, Lovely’s Fifty Fifty, Portland, OR
  • Kristen Murray, MÅURICE, Portland, OR
  • Keiji Nakazawa, Sushi Sho, Waikiki Beach, HI
  • Ryan Roadhouse, Nodoguro, Portland, OR
  • Beau Schooler, In Bocca Al Lupo, Juneau, AK
  • Sheldon Simeon, Lineage, Wailea, HI
  • Mutsuko Soma, Kamonegi, Seattle
  • Naoko Tamura, Shizuku, Portland, OR
  • Aaron Verzosa, Archipelago, Seattle
  • Chad White, Zona Blanca, Spokane, WA
  • Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule, Seattle

Best Chef: South (AL, AR, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, FL, LA, MS)

Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)

Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, NM, NV, OK)

Best Chef: Texas