The semifinalists for the 2019 James Beard Foundation Awards, often described as the Oscars of the food world, were announced Wednesday and several Philadelphia restaurants and chefs made the list. The semifinalists are selected from thousands of online entries.
The James Beard Awards finalists will be revealed Wednesday, March 27, followed by the award ceremony Monday, May 6, in Chicago.
Here are the Philly-area semifinalists:
Best New Restaurant
- Andiario, West Chester, PA
- Bardea Food & Drink, Wilmington, DE
- Tova du Plessis, Essen Bakery, Philadelphia
Outstanding Bar Program
- Monk’s Café, Philadelphia
- Marc Vetri, Vetri Cucina, Philadelphia
Outstanding Pastry Chef
- James Matty, Suraya, Philadelphia
- Zahav, Philadelphia
- Sagami, Collingswood, NJ
- Ellen Yin, High Street Hospitality Group, Philadelphia (Fork, High Street on Market, High Street on Hudson)
- Chef Vola’s, Atlantic City, NJ
Rising Star Chef of the Year
- Jesse Ito, Royal Izakaya, Philadelphia
Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
- Joey Baldino, Zeppoli, Collingswood, NJ
- Nicholas Elmi, Laurel, Philadelphia
- Rich Landau, Vedge, Philadelphia
- Cristina Martinez, South Philly Barbacoa, Philadelphia
In 2018, Camille Cogswell of Zahav took home the rising star chef of the year medal. She’s currently working on K’Far in Rittenhouse with Zahav’s Mike Solomonov and Steve Cook. The year before, Solomonov won the best chef award. Also in 2017, Greg Vernick was named best chef in the mid-Atlantic region and Stephen Starr received two awards: outstanding restaurateur and best new restaurant for New York City’s Le Coucou.
Recently, the James Beard Foundation changed its policies to ensure a more diverse group of decision makers and award winners.
The full list of semifinalists across the country is here.
Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Foundation Awards.