The James Beard Foundation, which every year gives out the equivalent of the Oscars of the food world, today announced the semifinalists for the 2020 Restaurant and Chef Awards. Philadelphia has nominees in multiple categories.
This year, the James Beard Foundation switched things up with new geographic breakdowns, so there are now nominees in Best Chef: California and Best Chef: Texas. There’s also a new Mountain category, and Best Chef: New York City is now Best Chef: New York State.
The list of semifinalists will be whittled down to five finalists per category. Those finalists will be announced at an event right here in Philly, at the Barnes museum on the Parkway, on March 25. The winners will be revealed at the James Beard Awards Gala in Chicago on May 4.
Here are the 2020 Philly-area semifinalists, including a few newcomers and several chefs who have been nominated before:
Best New Restaurant
- Kalaya, Philadelphia
- Marc Vetri, Vetri Cucina, Philadelphia
- Tova du Plessis, Essen Bakery, Philadelphia
Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)
- Joey Baldino, Zeppoli, Collingswood, NJ
- Nicholas Elmi, Laurel, Philadelphia
- Rich Landau, Vedge, Philadelphia
- Cristina Martinez, South Philly Barbacoa, Philadelphia
Outstanding Wine Program
- Le Caveau, Philadelphia
Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Producer
- Jean Broillet IV, Tired Hands Brewing Company, Ardmore, PA
Rising Star Chef of the Year
- Jesse Ito, Royal Izakaya, Philadelphia
At the Jersey Shore, Cookie Till of Steve And Cookie’s and Ventnor No. 7311 is in the running for Outstanding Restaurateur. In Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Taylor Mason of Luca is up for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic and Horse Inn is nominated for Outstanding Bar Program. Bolete in Bethlehem made the list for Outstanding Restaurant.
Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Foundation Awards.