James Beard Announces 2019 Semifinalists and Predictions

The James Beard Foundation has officially announced the 2019 Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists!

This year’s who’s who have appeared on the Top 25 Restaurant lists here on Foodable! This year brings in some new talent, along with some off-the-beaten path restaurants as well. Based on what my analysis, this year so far could be one of the best classes in a long time.

Check out the full list below, from Best New Restaurant to Outstanding Chef. The announcement for the final restaurant and chef award nominees, as well as the nominees for the media and restaurant design awards, was held in Houston today.

Check the Twitter hashtag for the latest - #jbfa

The 2019 James Beard Awards Gala will take place on Monday, May 6, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The 2019 Leadership Awards will be held on Sunday, May 5 in Chicago, and the 2019 Media Awards will take place on Friday, April 26, at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City.

Tickets to both the Awards Gala and the Media Awards will be on sale beginning March 27 at jamesbeard.org/awards.

Check out my Ones to Watch below! 

Best New Restaurant

Adda Indian Canteen, NYC

Andiario, West Chester, PA

Angler, San Francisco (ONE TO WATCH)

Atomix, NYC

Bardea Food & Drink, Wilmington, DE

Bavel, Los Angeles (ONE TO WATCH)

Bywater American Bistro, New Orleans

Canard, Portland, OR (ONE TO WATCH)

Celeste, Somerville, MA

Chickadee, Boston

Ellē, Washington, D.C.

The Elysian Bar, New Orleans

Folk, Nashville

Frenchette, NYC

Kyoten, Chicago (ONE TO WATCH)

Larder Delicatessen and Bakery, Cleveland

Lineage, Wailea, HI

Majordomo, Los Angeles

Marrow, Detroit

Nyum Bai, Oakland, CA (ONE TO WATCH)

Passerotto, Chicago

Petra and the Beast, Dallas (ONE TO WATCH)

Popol Vuh, Minneapolis

Q House, Denver

Sawyer, Seattle

Spoken English, Washington, D.C.

The Stanley, Charlotte, NC

Suerte, Austin (ONE TO WATCH)

The Surf Club Restaurant, Surfside, FL

Vianda, San Juan, PR


Outstanding Baker

Umber Ahmad, Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery, NYC

Kim Boyce, Bakeshop, Portland, OR (ONE TO WATCH)

Andy Clark, Moxie Bread Co., Louisville, CO

Evrim Dogu and Evin Dogu, Sub Rosa Bakery, Richmond, VA

Tova du Plessis, Essen Bakery, Philadelphia

Zachary Golper, Bien Cuit, NYC (ONE TO WATCH)

Don Guerra, Barrio Bread, Tucson, AZ

Naomi Harris, Madruga Bakery, Coral Gables, FL (ONE TO WATCH)

Stephanie Hart, Brown Sugar Bakery, Chicago

Maura Kilpatrick, Sofra Bakery and Café, Cambridge, MA

Lisa Ludwinski, Sister Pie, Detroit

Greg Mindel, Neighbor Bakehouse, San Francisco

Taylor Petrehn, 1900 Barker, Lawrence, KS

Alison Pray, Standard Baking Co., Portland, ME

Nathaniel Reid, Nathaniel Reid Bakery, Kirkwood, MO (ONE TO WATCH)

Avery Ruzicka, Manresa Bread, Los Gatos, CA

Kit Schumann and Jesse Schumann, Sea Wolf Bakers, Seattle

Debbie Swenerton, Black Bear Bread Co., Grayton Beach, FL (ONE TO WATCH)

Greg Wade, Publican Quality Bread, Chicago

Chris Wilkins, Root Baking Co., Atlanta (ONE TO WATCH)

Outstanding Bar Program

Anvil Bar & Refuge, Houston

The Atomic Lounge, Birmingham, AL

The Baldwin Bar, Woburn, MA

Bar Agricole, San Francisco (ONE TO WATCH)

Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge, Milwaukee

Clavel Mezcaleria, Baltimore

Columbia Room, Washington, D.C.

Dead Rabbit, NYC

Expatriate, Portland, OR

Kimball House, Decatur, GA

La Factoría, San Juan, PR

Leyenda, Brooklyn, NY

Lost Lake, Chicago (ONE TO WATCH)

The Monarch Bar, Kansas City, MO

Monk’s Café, Philadelphia (ONE TO WATCH)

No Anchor, Seattle

Old Lightning, Marina Del Rey, CA

Planter’s House, St. Louis

Saint Leo, Oxford, MS

Ticonderoga Club, Atlanta (ONE TO WATCH)

Outstanding Chef (Presented by All-Clad Metalcrafters)

Ashley Christensen, Poole’s Diner, Raleigh, NC

Renee Erickson, Bateau, Seattle (ONE TO WATCH)

Colby Garrelts, Bluestem, Kansas City, MO (ONE TO WATCH)

Sarah Grueneberg, Monteverde, Chicago

Shiro Kashiba, Sushi Kashiba, Seattle

David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA

Christopher Kostow, The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, CA

Corey Lee, Benu, San Francisco

Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans

Margot McCormack, Margot Café & Bar, Nashville

Tory Miller, L’Etoile, Madison, WI

Maricel Presilla, Cucharamama, Hoboken, NJ

Missy Robbins, Lilia, Brooklyn, NY

Chrysa Robertson, Rancho Pinot, Scottsdale, AZ

Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon, Portland, OR (ONE TO WATCH)

Chris Shepherd, Georgia James, Houston

Ana Sortun, Oleana, Cambridge, MA

Vikram Sunderam, Rasika, Washington, D.C.

Fabio Trabocchi, Fiola, Washington, D.C.

Marc Vetri, Vetri Cucina, Philadelphia (ONE TO WATCH)


Outstanding Pastry Chef (Presented by Lavazza)

Jeb Breakell, The Wolf’s Tailor, Denver

Ashley Capps, Buxton Hall, Asheville, NC (ONE TO WATCH)

Juan Contreras, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco

Kelly Fields, Willa Jean, New Orleans (ONE TO WATCH)

Meg Galus, Boka, Chicago (ONE TO WATCH)

Megan Garrelts, Rye, Leawood, KS

Zoe Kanan, Simon & the Whale, NYC (ONE TO WATCH)

Michelle Karr-Ueoka, MW Restaurant, Honolulu

Margarita Manzke, République, Los Angeles

James Matty, Suraya, Philadelphia

Junko Mine, Cafe Juanita, Kirkland, WA

Diane Moua, Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis (ONE TO WATCH)

Pichet Ong, Brothers and Sisters, Washington, D.C.

Natasha Pickowicz, Flora Bar, NYC

Michelle Polzine, 20th Century Café, San Francisco

Rabii Saber, Four Seasons Resort, Orlando, FL

Ricardo “Ricchi” Sanchez, Bullion, Dallas

Laura Sawicki, Launderette, Austin

Whang Suh, Hen & Heifer, Guilford, CT

Cynthia Wong, Life Raft Treats, Charleston, SC (ONE TO WATCH)


Outstanding Restaurant (Presented by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water)

Balthazar, NYC

Bolete, Bethlehem, PA

Cafe Juanita, Kirkland, WA

El Charro Café, Tucson, AZ

FIG, Charleston, SC

Fore Street, Portland, ME (ONE TO WATCH)

Jaleo, Washington, D.C.

Komi, Washington, D.C. (ONE TO WATCH)

Marché, Eugene, OR

Nopa, San Francisco (ONE TO WATCH)

Norman’s, Orlando, FL

North Pond, Chicago

O Ya, Boston

The Original Ninfa's on Navigation, Houston

Park’s BBQ, Los Angeles (ONE TO WATCH)

Quince, San Francisco (ONE TO WATCH)

Restaurant Alma, Minneapolis

Sagami, Collingswood, NJ

SriPraPhai, NYC

Zahav, Philadelphia (ONE TO WATCH)


Outstanding Restaurateur (Presented by Magellan Corporation)

Hugh Acheson, Atlanta (Empire State South, Five & Ten, The National, and others)

Paul Bartolotta and Joe Bartolotta, The Bartolotta Restaurants, Milwaukee (Ristorante Bartolotta, Harbor House, Lake Park Bistro, and others) (ONE TO WATCH)

JoAnn Clevenger, Upperline, New Orleans

Richard DeShantz and Tolga Sevdik, Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group, Pittsburgh (Poulet Bleu, Fish nor Fowl, Butcher and the Rye, and others)

Benjamin Goldberg and Max Goldberg, Strategic Hospitality, Nashville (The Catbird Seat, The Patterson House, Henrietta Red, and others) (ONE TO WATCH)

Ruth Gresser, Pizzeria Paradiso, Washington, D.C. (Pizzeria Paradiso, Birreria Paradiso)

Martha Hoover, Patachou Inc., Indianapolis (Café Patachou, Petite Chou, Public Greens, and others)

Rob Katz and Kevin Boehm, Boka Restaurant Group, Chicago (Boka, Girl & the Goat, Momotaro, and others)

Ed Kenney, Honolulu (Town, Mud Hen Water, Mahina & Sun’s, and others)

Brenda Langton and Timothy Kane, Spoonriver, Minneapolis

Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz, San Francisco (Mission Chinese Food, The Perennial, Commonwealth)

Akkapong (Earl) Ninsom, Portland, OR (Langbaan, Hat Yai, PaaDee, and others) (ONE TO WATCH)

Ken Oringer, Boston (Little Donkey, Toro, Uni, and others)

Steve Palmer, The Indigo Road, Charleston, SC (The Macintosh, Oak Steakhouse, Indaco, and others)

Julie Petrakis and James Petrakis, Swine Family Restaurant Group, Orlando, FL (The Ravenous Pig, Cask & Larder, The Polite Pig, and others) (ONE TO WATCH)

Alex Raij and Eder Montero, NYC (La Vara, Txikito, Saint Julivert Fisherie, and others)

Ethan Stowell, Ethan Stowell Restaurants, Seattle (Ballard Pizza Co., Bramling Cross, Cortina, and others)

Tracy Vaught, H Town Restaurant Group, Houston (Hugo’s, Caracol, Xochi, and others)

Jason Wang, Xi'an Famous Foods, NYC

Ellen Yin, High Street Hospitality Group, Philadelphia (Fork, High Street on Market, High Street on Hudson)


Outstanding Service 

Back Bay Grill, Portland, ME

Birrieria Zaragoza, Chicago

Brigtsen’s, New Orleans

Canlis, Seattle (ONE TO WATCH)

Chef Vola’s, Atlantic City, NJ

Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder, CO

The French Room, Dallas (ONE TO WATCH)

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse, Chicago

Hugo’s, Houston (ONE TO WATCH)

Kai Restaurant, Chandler, AZ

Kimball House, Decatur, GA

Mama J’s, Richmond, VA

Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier, Washington, D.C.

n/naka, Los Angeles

Peking Gourmet Inn, Falls Church, VA

Saison, San Francisco (ONE TO WATCH)

Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco

Tony’s, Houston

Victoria & Albert’s, Orlando, FL

Zingerman’s Roadhouse, Ann Arbor, MI


Outstanding Wine Program (Presented by Robert Mondavi Winery)

Bacchanal, New Orleans

The Bachelor Farmer, Minneapolis

Bar Marco, Pittsburgh

Benu, San Francisco (ONE TO WATCH)

The Butcher Shop, Boston

Cote, NYC

element 47 at the Little Nell, Aspen, CO

Great China, Berkeley, CA

Davenport, Portland, OR

haley.henry, Boston

Income Tax, Chicago

L’Oursin, Seattle (ONE TO WATCH)

Lucky Palace, Bossier City, LA

Miller Union, Atlanta

Night + Market, Los Angeles (ONE TO WATCH)

Ops, Brooklyn, NY

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse at the Galleria, Houston

Spiaggia, Chicago (ONE TO WATCH)

Stems & Skins, North Charleston, SC

Tail Up Goat, Washington, D.C. (ONE TO WATCH)


Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Producer

An Bui, Mekong and The Answer Brewpub, Richmond, VA

Cathy Corison, Corison Winery, St. Helena, CA

Rutger de Vink, RdV Vineyards, Delaplane, VA

Dave Green, Skagit Valley Malting, Burlington, WA

Deirdre Heekin, La Garagista, Bethel, VT

Nancy Irelan, Red Tail Ridge Winery, Penn Yan, NY

Drew Kulsveen, Willett Distillery, Bardstown, KY

Todd Leopold and Scott Leopold, Leopold Bros., Denver

Sean Lilly Wilson, Fullsteam Brewery, Durham, NC

Ann Marshall and Scott Blackwell, High Wire Distilling Co., Charleston, SC

Steve Matthiasson, Matthiasson Wines, Napa, CA

Kim McPherson, McPherson Cellars, Lubbock, TX

Meredith Meyer Grelli, Wigle Whiskey, Pittsburgh

Yoshihiro Sako, Den Sake Brewery, Oakland, CA

Jordan Salcito, Ramona, NYC

Mike Sauer, Red Willow Vineyard, Wapato, WA (ONE TO WATCH)

Jeffrey Stuffings, Jester King Brewery, Austin (ONE TO WATCH)

Rob Tod, Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, ME (ONE TO WATCH)

Mhairi Voelsgen, broVo Spirits, Woodinville, WA

Lance Winters, St. George Spirits, Alameda, CA


Rising Star Chef of the Year (Presented by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water)

Rachel Bennett, The Library, St. Petersburg, FL

Jay Blackinton, Aelder/Hogstone’s Wood Oven, Orcas Island, WA

Nick Bognar, Nippon Tei, St. Louis

Ana Castro, Coquette, New Orleans (ONE TO WATCH)

Valerie Chang and Nando Chang, Itamae, Miami

Calvin Davis, Freshwater, Kansas City, MO

Alisha Elenz, MFK, Chicago (ONE TO WATCH)

Evan Gaudreau, Renzo, Charleston, SC

Rikki Giambruno, Hyacinth, St. Paul, MN

Becca Hegarty, Bitter Ends Luncheonette, Pittsburgh (ONE TO WATCH)

Alexander Hong, Sorrel, San Francisco

Jesse Ito, Royal Izakaya, Philadelphia

Irene Li, Mei Mei, Boston

Giselle Miller, Menton, Boston

Shota Nakajima, Adana, Seattle

Kwame Onwuachi, Kith and Kin, Washington, D.C.

Ian Redshaw, Lampo Neapolitan Pizzeria, Charlottesville, VA

Jonathan “Jonny” Rhodes, Restaurant Indigo, Houston

Samantha Sanz, Talavera at the Four Seasons, Scottsdale, AZ (ONE TO WATCH)

Lena Sareini, Selden Standard, Detroit

Cassie Shortino, Tratto, Phoenix

Nolan Wynn, Banshee, Atlanta (ONE TO WATCH)

Jonathan Yao, Kato, Los Angeles


Best Chef: Great Lakes

Thai Dang and Danielle Dang, HaiSous Vietnamese Kitchen, Chicago

Diana Dávila, Mi Tocaya Antojería, Chicago

Paul Fehribach, Big Jones, Chicago

Norberto Garita, El Barzon, Detroit

Jason Hammel, Lula Café, Chicago

Brian Jupiter, Frontier, Chicago

Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark, Parachute, Chicago

Anthony Lombardo, SheWolf, Detroit

Abbi Merriss, Bluebeard, Indianapolis

Ethan Pikas, Cellar Door Provisions, Chicago

David Posey and Anna Posey, Elske, Chicago

Iliana Regan, Kitsune, Chicago (ONE TO WATCH)

James Rigato, Mabel Gray, Hazel Park, MI

Jose Salazar, Mita’s, Cincinnati

Noah Sandoval, Oriole, Chicago (ONE TO WATCH)

Steven Oakley, Oakleys Bistro, Indianapolis

Genevieve Vang, Bangkok 96, Dearborn, MI

Jill Vedaa, Salt, Lakewood, OH

Kate Williams, Lady of the House, Detroit (ONE TO WATCH)

Lee Wolen, Boka, Chicago


Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic

Joey Baldino, Zeppoli, Collingswood, NJ

Sandeep “Sunny” Baweja, Lehja, Richmond, VA

Jamilka Borges, The Independent Brewing Company, Pittsburgh

Amy Brandwein, Centrolina, Washington, D.C.

Erik Bruner-Yang, Brothers and Sisters, Washington, D.C.

Kristin Butterworth, Lautrec, Farmington, PA (ONE TO WATCH)

Tom Cunanan, Bad Saint, Washington, D.C.

Nicholas Elmi, Laurel, Philadelphia (ONE TO WATCH)

Randy Forrester, Osteria Radici, Allentown, NJ

Jerome Grant, Sweet Home Café, Washington, D.C.

Haidar Karoum, Chloë, Washington, D.C.

Matthew Kern, Heirloom, Lewes, DE

Rich Landau, Vedge, Philadelphia (ONE TO WATCH)

Cristina Martinez, South Philly Barbacoa, Philadelphia

Dan Richer, Razza Pizza Artigianale, Jersey City, NJ

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

Kevin Tien, Himitsu, Washington, D.C.

Cindy Wolf, Charleston, Baltimore

Nobu Yamazaki, Sushi Taro, Washington, D.C.

Wei Zhu, Chengdu Gourmet, Pittsburgh


Best Chef: Midwest

Dane Baldwin, The Diplomat, Milwaukee

Karen Bell, Bavette La Boucherie, Milwaukee

Thomas Boemer, In Bloom, St. Paul, MN

Steven Brown, Tilia, Minneapolis

Michael Corvino, Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room, Kansas City, MO

Daniel del Prado, Martina, Minneapolis (ONE TO WATCH)

Linda Duerr, The Restaurant at 1900, Mission Woods, KS

Michael Gallina, Vicia, St. Louis (ONE TO WATCH)

Nicholas Goellner, The Antler Room, Kansas City, MO

Jonny Hunter, Forequarter, Madison, WI

Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite, EsterEv, Milwaukee

Ann Kim, Young Joni, Minneapolis

Lona Luo, Lona’s Lil Eats, St. Louis (ONE TO WATCH)

Jamie Malone, Grand Café, Minneapolis

Jesse Mendica, Olive + Oak, Webster Groves, MO

Tim Nicholson, The Boiler Room, Omaha, NE

Christina Nguyen, Hai Hai, Minneapolis

Karyn Tomlinson, Corner Table, Minneapolis

Joe Tripp, Harbinger, Des Moines, IA

Ny Vongsaly, Billie-Jean, Clayton, MO


Best Chef: New York City

Cosme Aguilar, Casa Enrique (ONE TO WATCH)

Emma Bengtsson, Aquavit

Rawia Bishara, Tanoreen, Brooklyn, NY

Amanda Cohen, Dirt Candy (ONE TO WATCH)

Billy Durney, Hometown Bar-B-Que, Brooklyn, NY

Sean Gray, Momofuku Ko

Brooks Headley, Superiority Burger

Joseph “JJ” Johnson, Henry at Life Hotel

Sohui Kim, Insa, Brooklyn, NY

Josh Ku and Trigg Brown, Win Son, Brooklyn, NY

Angie Mar, Beatrice Inn

Kyo Pang, Kopitiam

Erik Ramirez, Llama Inn, Brooklyn, NY

Ann Redding and Matt Danzer, Uncle Boons

Daniela Soto-Innes, Atla (ONE TO WATCH)

Jeremiah Stone and Fabián von Hauske, Wildair

Alex Stupak, Empellón Midtown

Scott Tacinelli and Angie Rito, Don Angie

Jody Williams and Rita Sodi, Via Carota (ONE TO WATCH)

Helen You, Dumpling Galaxy, Queens, NY


Best Chef: Northeast

Unmi Abkin, Coco & The Cellar Bar, Easthampton, MA

Tyler Anderson, Millwright's, Simsbury, CT

Hannah Black and Carla Perez-Gallardo, Lil' Deb's Oasis, Hudson, NY

Cara Chigazola-Tobin, Honey Road, Burlington, VT (ONE TO WATCH)

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

Krista Kern Desjarlais, The Purple House, North Yarmouth, ME

Vien Dobui, Cong Tu Bot, Portland, ME (ONE TO WATCH)

Carl Dooley, The Table at Season to Taste, Cambridge, MA

Tiffani Faison, Tiger Mama, Boston

Erin French, The Lost Kitchen, Freedom, ME

Victor Parra Gonzalez, Las Puertas, Buffalo, NY

Seizi Imura, Cafe Sushi, Cambridge, MA (ONE TO WATCH)

Evan Mallett, Black Trumpet, Portsmouth, NH

James Mark, North, Providence

Tony Messina, Uni, Boston

Cassie Piuma, Sarma, Somerville, MA

Keiko Suzuki Steinberger, Suzuki's Sushi Bar, Rockland, ME

Benjamin Sukle, Oberlin, Providence, RI (ONE TO WATCH)

Peter Ungár, Tasting Counter, Somerville, MA

David Vargas, Vida Cantina, Portsmouth, NH


Best Chef: Northwest

Jose Chesa, Ataula, Portland, OR

Peter Cho, Han Oak, Portland, OR (ONE TO WATCH)

Laura Cole, 229 Parks Restaurant & Tavern, Denali National Park & Preserve, AK

Logan Cox, Homer, Seattle (ONE TO WATCH)

Alejandro Cruz, Novo Modern Latin Table, Eugene, OR

Eric Donnelly, RockCreek, Seattle

Gregory Gourdet, Departure, Portland, OR

Eric Johnson, Stateside, Seattle

Taichi Kitamura, Sushi Kappo Tamura, Seattle

Ha (Christina) Luu and Peter Vuong, Ha VL, Portland, OR

Katy Millard, Coquine, Portland, OR

Kristen Murray, Måurice, Portland, OR (ONE TO WATCH)

Colin Patterson, Mana Restaurant, Leavenworth, WA

Ryan Roadhouse, Nodoguro, Portland, OR

Beau Schooler, In Bocca Al Lupo, Juneau, AK (ONE TO WATCH)

Mutsuko Soma, Kamonegi, Seattle

Dave Wells, The Dining Room at Chico Hot Springs, Pray, MT

Brady Williams, Canlis, Seattle (ONE TO WATCH)

Justin Woodward, Castagna, Portland, OR

Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule, Seattle


Best Chef: South

Lindsay Autry, The Regional Kitchen & Public House, West Palm Beach, FL

David Bancroft, Acre, Auburn, AL

Vishwesh Bhatt, Snackbar, Oxford, MS

Bill Briand, Fisher’s Upstairs at Orange Beach Marina, Orange Beach, AL

Clay Conley, Buccan, Palm Beach, FL (ONE TO WATCH)

Alex Eaton, The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen, Jackson, MS

Jose Enrique, Jose Enrique, San Juan, PR

Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus, Coquette, New Orleans (ONE TO WATCH)

Maria Mercedes Grubb, Gallo Negro, San Juan, PR

Michael Gulotta, Maypop, New Orleans

Mason Hereford, Turkey and the Wolf, New Orleans

Timothy Hontzas, Johnny’s Restaurant, Homewood, AL

Brad Kilgore, Alter, Miami (ONE TO WATCH)

Niven Patel, Ghee Indian Kitchen, Miami

Matthew McClure, The Hive, Bentonville, AR

Alex Perry, Vestige, Ocean Springs, MS

Jeannie Pierola, Edison: Food+Drink Lab, Tampa, FL (ONE TO WATCH)

Slade Rushing, Brennan’s, New Orleans (ONE TO WATCH)

Melissa Donahue-Talmage, Sweet Melissa’s Café, Sanibel, FL

Isaac Toups, Toups’ Meatery, New Orleans


Best Chef: Southeast

Mashama Bailey, The Grey, Savannah, GA

Rebecca Barron, St. John’s Restaurant, Chattanooga, TN

Jon Buck, Husk Greenville, Greenville, SC

Katie Button, Cúrate, Asheville, NC (ONE TO WATCH)

Gregory Collier, Loft & Cellar, Charlotte, NC

Cassidee Dabney, The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN

Steven Devereaux Greene, Herons, Cary, NC

Oscar Diaz, The Cortez, Raleigh, NC (ONE TO WATCH)

Bryan Furman, B’s Cracklin’ BBQ, Atlanta

Josh Habiger, Bastion, Nashville

Meherwan Irani, Chai Pani, Asheville, NC

Kevin Johnson, The Grocery, Charleston, SC (ONE TO WATCH)

Joe Kindred, Kindred, Davidson, NC

Cheetie Kumar, Garland, Raleigh, NC

Jacques Larson, The Obstinate Daughter, Sullivan’s Island, SC

Dean Neff, PinPoint, Wilmington, NC

Ryan Smith, Staplehouse, Atlanta

Brian So, Spring, Marietta, GA

Julia Sullivan, Henrietta Red, Nashville (ONE TO WATCH)

Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Memphis


Best Chef: Southwest

Charleen Badman, FnB, Scottsdale, AZ

Kevin Binkley, Binkley’s Restaurant, Phoenix

Jen Castle and Blake Spalding, Hell's Backbone Grill, Boulder, UT

Bruno Davaillon, Bullion, Dallas (ONE TO WATCH)

Iliana de la Vega, El Naranjo, Austin (ONE TO WATCH)

Kevin Fink, Emmer & Rye, Austin

Michael Fojtasek, Olamaie, Austin

Bryce Gilmore, Barley Swine, Austin (ONE TO WATCH)

Caroline Glover, Annette, Aurora, CO

Nadia Holguin, Roland’s Cafe Market Bar, Phoenix

Ronnie Killen, Killen’s Steakhouse, Pearland, TX

Kaiser Lashkari, Himalaya, Houston

Steve McHugh, Cured, San Antonio (ONE TO WATCH)

Trong Nguyen, Crawfish & Noodles, Houston

Jonathan Perno, Campo at Los Poblanos, Albuquerque, NM (ONE TO WATCH)

Maribel Rivero, Yuyo, Austin

Regino Rojas, Purépecha Room by Revolver Taco Lounge, Dallas 

Silvana Salcido Esparza, Barrio Café Gran Reserva, Phoenix

David Uygur, Lucia, Dallas (ONE TO WATCH)

Kelly Whitaker, The Wolf’s Tailor, Denver


Best Chef: West

Genet Agonafer, Meals by Genet, Los Angeles

Reem Assil, Reem’s California, Oakland, CA (ONE TO WATCH)

Gabriela Cámara, Cala, San Francisco

Michael Cimarusti, Providence, Los Angeles

Jeremy Fox, Rustic Canyon, Santa Monica, CA (ONE TO WATCH)

Chris Kajioka and Anthony Rush, Senia, Honolulu

Matthew Kammerer, Harbor House Inn, Elk, CA

Jessica Koslow, Sqirl, Los Angeles (ONE TO WATCH)

Brandon Rodgers and Ian Scaramuzza, In Situ, San Francisco

Travis Lett, Gjelina, Venice, CA

Niki Nakayama, n/naka, Los Angeles

Dominica Rice-Cisneros, Cosecha Café, Oakland, CA

Carlos Salgado, Taco María, Costa Mesa, CA

Joshua Skenes, Saison, San Francisco (ONE TO WATCH)

Sheridan Su, Flock and Fowl, Las Vegas

James Syhabout, Commis, Oakland, CA

Karen Taylor, El Molino Central, Sonoma, CA

Pim Techamuanvivit, Kin Khao, San Francisco

Kris Yenbamroong, Night + Market, Los Angeles (ONE TO WATCH)

Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins, El Jardín, San Diego