upserve james beard award finalist

For more than 30 years, the James Beard Foundation’s mission has been to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone.

According to the Foundation, James Beard was named the “Dean of American Cookery” by the New York Times in 1954. As an original foodie and host of the first food program on television in 1946, Beard was first to suspect that classic American culinary traditions might cohere into a national cuisine and was an early champion of local products and markets. He nurtured a generation of American chefs and cookbook authors who have changed the way Americans eat.

On November 5, 1986, the James Beard Foundation officially opened the James Beard House “to provide a center for the culinary arts and to continue to foster the interest James Beard inspired in all aspects of food, its preparation presentation, and of course, enjoyment,” according to a press release issued that day.

Today, the Foundation hosts a variety of events at The Beard House and supports up-and-coming and established chefs from across the country.

What are the James Beard Awards?

Through the annual James Beard Awards, the Foundation recognizes excellence in the restaurant industry, aiming to bring attention to all levels of the restaurant experience. From wine programs to regional acclaim for chefs, the James Beard Awards honor outstanding restaurants, chefs, and food-centric journalism, books, and broadcast media.

In late 2018, the James Beard Foundation announced a change in policy in an effort to make the James Beard Awards more inclusive. This policy will increase gender, race, and ethnic representation in the governance and outcomes of the Awards. Changes in the nomination and judging process have taken steps toward a more transparent system.

The theme for the awards in 2019 is “Good Food for Good”—a nod to these inclusivity efforts. According to a March press release from the Foundation, the theme references the foundation’s mission, which includes “assert[ing] the power of gastronomy to drive behavior, culture, and policy change around food.”

2019 James Beard Finalists: Congrats to the Upserve Customers Who were Recognized!

Best New Restaurant

Demi – Minneapolis, MN

 

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Gado Gado – Portland, OR

 

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Outstanding Hospitality

Canlis – Seattle, WA

 

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Saison – San Francisco, CA

 

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Outstanding Pastry Chef

Diane Moua, Spoon and Stable – Minneapolis, MN

 

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Outstanding Restaurant

FIG – Charleston, SC

 

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Outstanding Restaurateur

Alex Raij and Eder Montero, La Vara, Saint Julivert Fisherie, and Txikito – NYC

 

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Outstanding Wine Program

Canard – Portland, OR

 

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Rising Star Chef of the Year

Ashleigh Shanti, Benne on Eagle – Asheville, NC

 

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Best Chef: California

Joshua Skenes, Angler – San Francisco, CA

 

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

Jason Hammel, Lula Café – Chicago

 

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

Jon Sybert, Tail Up Goat – Washington, D.C.

 

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

Steven Brown, Tilia – Minneapolis, MN

 

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Jamie Malone, Grand Café – Minneapolis, MN

 

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

Kelly Whitaker, The Wolf’s Tailor – Denver, CO

 

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Best Chef: New York State

Sean Gray, Momofuku Ko – NYC

 

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Junghyun Park, Atomix – NYC

 

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Alex Stupak, Empellón – NYC

 

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

Vien Dobui, CONG TU BOT – Portland, ME

 

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Tiffani Faison, Orfano – Boston

 

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Ben Jackson, Drifters Wife – Portland, ME

 

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Greg Mitchell and Chad Conley, Palace Diner – Biddeford, ME

 

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

Katy Millard, Coquine – Portland, OR

 

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Kristen Murray, MAURICE – Portland, OR

 

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

Mason Hereford, Turkey and the Wolf – New Orleans, LA

 

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2019 James Beard Finalists

Angler

San Francisco, CA

Best New Restaurant

Atomix

New York City

Best New Restaurant

Benu

San Francisco, CA

Outstanding Chef: Corey Lee

Outstanding Wine Program

Canlis

Seattle, WA

Best Chef, Northwest: Brady Williams

Outstanding Service

Castanga

Portland, OR

Best Chef, Northwest: Justin Woodward

Coquette

New Orleans, LA

Best Chef, South: Kristen Essig & Michael Stoltzfus

Coquine

Portland, OR

Best Chef, Northwest: Katy Millard

Emmer & Rye

Austin, TX

Best Chef, Southwest: Kevin Fink

FIG

Charleston, SC

Outstanding Restaurant

Five & Ten

Atlanta, GA

Outstanding Restaurateur: Hugh Acheson

Grand Cafe

Minneapolis, MN

Best Chef, Midwest: Jamie Malone

La Vara

New York City

Outstanding Restaurateur: Alex Raji & Eder Montero

Lula Cafe

Chicago, IL

Best Chef, Great Lakes: Jason Hammel

MFK

Chicago, IL

Rising Star Chef of the Year: Alisha Elenz

Momofuku Ko

New York City

Best Chef, NYC: Sean Gray

Parachute

Chicago, IL

Best Chef, Great Lakes: Beverly Kim & Johnny Clark

Saison

San Francisco, CA

Best Chef, West: Joshua Skenes

Outstanding Service

The National

Athens, GA

Outstanding Restaurateur: Hugh Acheson

Txikito

New York City

Outstanding Restaurateur: Alex Raji & Eder Montero

Via Carota

New York City

Best Chef, NYC: Jody Williams & Rita Sodi

Willa Jean

New Orleans, LA

Outstanding Pastry Chef: Kelly Fields

Click here to see the full list of 2019 semi-finalists.

James Beard Semifinalists 2017

This week, the James Beard Foundation announced their list of Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists for the 27th Annual James Beard Foundation Awards. The Foundation was established back in 1986, to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. Since that time, their annual awards have been a prestigious honor bestowed on only the best in the culinary industry. Selected from a list of over 24,000 online entries, to say receiving a nomination for this award is exciting, is a major understatement.

Best New Restaurant

Outstanding Bar Program

Outstanding Restaurant

Outstanding Service

Outstanding Wine Program

Outstanding Chef

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Outstanding Baker

Rising Star Chef of the Year

Best Chef: Great Lakes

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic

Best Chef: Midwest

Best Chef: New York City

Best Chef: Northeast

Best Chef: Northwest

Best Chef: West

From these semi-finalists, the list is sent to an independent volunteer panel of more than 600 judges from across the country. This panel, which comprises leading regional restaurant critics, food and wine editors, culinary educators, and past James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Award winners, votes on the specific award categories to determine the final five nominees in each category.  

Congratulations to all our customers on a tremendous honor. Your daily hustle continues to inspire us.

For the complete list of 2017 James Beard Award Semifinalists, click here.

James Beard Nominees 2016

Outstanding Bar Program

  • Cafe ArtScience, Cambridge, MA: Located in Kendall Square, this restaurant is at the intersection of an auditorium, a bar, and an art gallery. This dining experience combines the innovation of food and technology.
  • Row 34, Boston, MA: Known for their insane oysters and craft brews.  Row 34 combines a terrific staff, fun atmosphere and fresh seafood creating one of the most delicious dining experiences the bay state has to offer.

Outstanding Pastry Chef

  • Willa Jean, Chef Kelly Fields, New Orleans, LA: This New Orleans bakery puts a modern spin on southern food.  Named after Chef Kelly Fields grandmother, this bakery is known for its unique small plates and perfect pastries.

Outstanding Restaurant and Outstanding Wine Program

  • Momofuku Noodle Bar, NYC: The hardest thing about dining at Momofuku Noodle Bar is deciding what to order.  This New York hot spot is a winner in 2 categories, for good reason.  It is famous for its fried chicken meals that can be shared with a group of friends.

Outstanding Restaurateur

  • Garrett Harker, Boston, MA:  Mr. Harker has developed a wide stretching empire, running some of Boston’s biggest restaurants, Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks, Island Creek Oyster Bar, Row 34, The Hawthorne, and Branch Line. He is described as someone who “Has made a career by getting better, smarter, (and) elevating people around him. Believe me, that’s a rarity.”

Outstanding Service

  • Restaurant August, New Orleans, LA: This restaurant, located in a 19th century French- Creole building, in the Central Business District of New Orleans, takes food to a new level.  Opened by legendary Chef John Besh, Restaurant August finds that sweet spot with a modern twist on traditional Creole dishes.

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic

  • Convivial, Chef Cedric Maupillier, Washington, D.C.: Convivial boasts a menu like no other in D.C. catering to their guests every request.  It has been the buzz on the street as the “must try spot in D.C.” Led by Cedric Maupillier, the goal is to please customers. The restaurant is fitted with soundproof walls and ceilings, larger portions, and guest tailored courses.

Best Chef: New York City

  • Aldea, Chef George Mendes, NYC: All-Star Chef George Mendes is a first generation Portuguese-American hailing from Connecticut.  In 2009 he opened Aldea, named after the Spanish word for village with a focus not only on just creative food, but also on an environment that is aesthetically pleasing. Aldea is known for creating dishes that resemble art, and for the experienced palate, such as Sea Urchin Toast.

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Written by   |  
Stephanie is a Providence, RI native and eight-year food industry veteran. As Upserve's Content Marketing Coordinator she creates materials that help restaurateurs, managers, and service professionals succeed. When she's not writing, Stephanie is most likely traveling, cooking, or trying new restaurants.