See the NYC restaurants and chefs named as James Beard Award semifinalists

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By Dan Sears

The list of 420 chefs and eateries across the country nominated for the James Beard Foundation’s annual awards is finally out.

The awards, which are sometimes called the “foodie Oscars” and awarded by the New York City-based James Beard Foundation, aim to honor innovation, excellence and a “culture where all can thrive” in American restaurants.

Crudo from Foxface Natural

Colin Clark / Courtesy of Foxface Natural

An array of dishes at Tatiana

Courtesy of Tatiana

“James Beard, especially after all the changes they’ve made, I think it’s a very well thought-out election process,” Kushnir said, referring to the foundation’s post-pandemic changes, which include a stipulation that anyone nominating a potential winner must state how the candidate fits with their values around “a more equitable, sustainable, and healthy work culture.”

Foxface Natural is known for its unusual sourcing; the restaurant buys its proteins directly from hunters and fishermen, avoiding middlemen and the use of products stored in warehouses.

“What we’re trying to do overall is highlight ingredients that are special both in quality and in how they’re handled,” Kushnir said.

Chef Nasim Alikhani pictured at her Brooklyn restaurant, Sofreh

Scott Heins for Gothamist

Several of 2023’s nominees appeared again, including Mel the Bakery, which was nominated for “Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker” in 2023 and for “Outstanding Bakery” this year.

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Chefs Nasim Alikhani of Sofreh, Mary Attea of the Musket Room, and Calvin Eng of Bonnie’s were among the talents who received nominations for the second consecutive year. Clover Hill’s chef Charlie Mitchell, who was a nominee for “Best Emerging Chef” last year, is a semifinalist in this year’s “Best Chef” category.

There were no nominees in Queens, the Bronx or Staten Island this year.

Charlie Mitchell of Clover Hill

Clay Williams Photo

Lita, an Iberian restaurant on the Jersey Shore, was nominated in the prestigious “Best New Restaurant” category, while the nominees for “Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic” included the Bangladeshi chef behind Korai Kitchen in Jersey City.

The long list of semifinalists will be pared down to a group of finalists on April 3, and the winners will be announced in a ceremony on June 10.

Here’s the full list of winners in the NYC metro area:

Outstanding Restaurateur

  • Bryan Chuntan and Pei Wei, Zaab Zaab and Zaab Zaab Talay, New York, NY
  • Ravi DeRossi, Overthrow Hospitality (Cadence, Etérea, Avant Garden, and others), New York, NY

Outstanding Chef

  • Emma Bengtsson, Aquavit, New York, NY
  • Dan Kluger, Loring Place, New York, NY

Outstanding Restaurant

  • Superiority Burger, New York, NY

Emerging Chef

  • Fariyal Abdullahi, Hav & Mar, New York, NY

Best New Restaurant

  • Foul Witch, New York, NY
  • Foxface Natural, New York, NY
  • Tatiana by Kwame Onwuachi, New York, NY
  • Lita, Aberdeen Township, NJ

Outstanding Bakery

  • Make My Cake, New York, NY
  • Mel the Bakery, Hudson, NY

Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker

  • Eunji Lee, Lysée, New York, NY
  • Camari Mick, The Musket Room, New York, NY

Outstanding Hospitality presented by American Airlines

Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program

Outstanding Bar

  • All Night Skate, Brooklyn, NY
  • Double Chicken Please, New York, NY

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (DC, DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)

  • Nur-E Gulshan Rahman, Korai Kitchen, Jersey City, NJ

Best Chef: New York State

  • Nasim Alikhani, Sofreh, Brooklyn, NY
  • Mary Attea, Musket Room, New York, NY
  • Ayo Balogun, Dept of Culture, Brooklyn, NY
  • Clare de Boer, Stissing House, Pine Plains, NY
  • Doris Choi, Good Night, Woodstock, NY
  • Calvin Eng, Bonnie’s, Brooklyn, NY
  • Aretah Ettarh, Gramercy Tavern, New York, NY
  • Charles Gabriel, Charles Pan-Fried Chicken, New York, NY
  • Efrén Hernández, Casa Susanna, Leeds, NY
  • Luis Herrera, Ensenada, Brooklyn, NY
  • JJ Johnson, FieldTrip, New York, NY
  • Telly Justice, HAGS, New York, NY
  • Atsushi Kono, Kono, New York, NY
  • Shaina Loew-Banayan, Cafe Mutton, Hudson, NY
  • Christina Mauricio, Harana Market, Accord, NY
  • Charlie Mitchell, Clover Hill, Brooklyn, NY
  • Scarr Pimentel, Scarr’s Pizza, New York, NY
  • Jeremy Salamon, Agi’s Counter, Brooklyn, NY
  • Hillary Sterling, Ci Siamo, New York, NY
  • Ed Szymanski, Lord’s, New York, NY

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