Thomas J. Story

The James Beard Foundation announced this year’s semifinalists in its 2020 awards for chefs and restaurants, and the West is well represented

Maya Wong  – February 26, 2020 | Updated March 3, 2020

Each year the James Beard Awards celebrate the top chefs, restaurateurs, pastry chefs, wine programs, and food and wine experts at a swanky gala that’s earned it the moniker of the “Oscars of Food.” Similar to last year’s semifinalists, the West is well-represented in this year’s awards with nine West-based establishments nominated for Best New Restaurant and seven chefs nominated for Outstanding Chef. 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of James Beard Awards, which concludes with a gala ceremony honoring winners on Monday, May 4, in Chicago. Read on for the West-based semifinalists in all categories, from Outstanding Restaurant to Rising Star Chef.

Best New Restaurant

Beit Rima, San Francisco

Eem, Portland, OR

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Gado Gado, Portland, OR

Il Nido, Seattle

Nightshade, Los Angeles

Pasjoli, Santa Monica, CA

Sunday Vinyl, Denver

Vecina, Phoenix

Verjus, San Francisco

Rising Star Chef of the Year

Matthew Kammerer, Harbor House Inn, Elk, CA

Liz Kenyon, Rupee Bar, Seattle

Gaby Maeda, State Bird Provisions, San Francisco

Shota Nakajima, Adana, Seattle

Austin Nickel, Spuntino, Denver

Johnny Ortiz, /Shed, La Madera, NM

Cassie Shortino, Tratto, Phoenix

Jon Yao, Kato, Los Angeles

Outstanding Baker

Kim Boyce, Bakeshop, Portland, OR

Don Guerra, Barrio Bread, Tucson, AZ

Moshit Mizrachi-Gabbitas, Janjou Pâtisserie, Boise, ID

David Norman, Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden, Austin

Avery Ruzicka, Manresa Bread, Los Gatos, CA

Matt Tinder, Saboteur Bakery, Bremerton, WA

Na Young Ma, Proof Bakery, Los Angeles

Outstanding Bar Program

Bar Leather Apron, Honolulu

Expatriate, Portland, OR

Little Rituals, Phoenix

OTOTO, Los Angeles

Trick Dog, San Francisco

Williams & Graham, Denver

Outstanding Chef

Nobuo Fukuda, Nobuo at Teeter House, Phoenix

David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA

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

Corey Lee, Benu, San Francisco

Ludo Lefebvre, Trois Mec, Los Angeles

Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon, Portland, OR

Holly Smith, Cafe Juanita, Kirkland, WA

Outstanding Hospitality

Canlis, Seattle

Kai, Phoenix

Mi Nidito Restaurant, Tucson, AZ

Pekin Noodle Parlor, Butte, MT

Saison, San Francisco

Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Lincoln Carson, Bon Temps, Los Angeles

Ali and Kevin Cohane, Persephone, Jackson, WY

Juan Contreras, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco

Margarita Manzke, République, Los Angeles

Mimi Mendoza, Senia, Honolulu

Country Velador, Super Chunk Sweets & Treats, Scottsdale, AZ

Outstanding Restaurant

Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder, CO

Hà VL, Portland, OR

House of Prime Rib, San Francisco

Kogi BBQ, Los Angeles

Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix

Quince, San Francisco

Sushi Den, Denver

Outstanding Restaurateur

Jennifer Jasinski, Beth Gruitch, Crafted Concepts, Denver (Rioja, Bistro Vendôme, Stoic & Genuine, and others)

Mike Mastro and Jeff Mastro, Prime Steak Concepts, Scottsdale, AZ (Dominick’s Steakhouse, Steak 44, Ocean 44)

Thomas McNaughton, David Steele and David White, Ne Timeas Restaurant Group, San Francisco (Flour + Water, Central Kitchen, Trick Dog)

Larry McGuire, McGuire Moorman Hospitality, Austin (Jeffrey’s, Perla’s, Pool Burger, and others)

Willy Ng, Magic Gourmet Trading, San Francisco (Koi Palace, Dragon Beaux, Palette Tea House)

Akkapong “Earl” Ninsom, Portland, OR (Langbaan, PaaDee, Hat Yai)

Outstanding Wine Program

Canard, Portland, OR

element 47 at The Little Nell, Aspen, CO

FnB, Scottsdale, AZ

Great China, Berkeley, CA

L’Oursin, Seattle

The Morris, San Francisco

Night + Market Sahm, Venice, CA

Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Producer

Cathy Corison, Corison Winery, St. Helena, CA

Brianne Day, Day Wines, Dundee, OR

David Favela, Border X Brewing, San Diego

Todd Leopold and Scott Leopold, Leopold Bros., Denver

Steve Luke, Cloudburst Brewing, Seattle

André Hueston Mack, Maison Noir Wines, McMinnville, OR

Stephen Paul, Hamilton Distillers, Tucson, AZ

Yoshihiro Sako, Den Sake Brewery, Oakland, CA

Jeffrey Stuffings and Michael Stuffings, Jester King Brewery, Austin

Lance Winters, St. George Spirits, Alameda, CA

Best Chef: California

Genet Agonafer, Meals by Genet, Los Angeles

Kim Alter, Nightbird, San Francisco

Val M. Cantu, Californios, San Francisco

Rocío Camacho, La Diosa de los Moles, Paramount, CA

Gabriela Cámara, Cala, San Francisco

Josef Centeno, Orsa & Winston, Los Angeles

Jeremy Fox, Birdie G’s, Santa Monica, CA

Brandon Go, Hayato, Los Angeles

Brandon Jew, Mister Jiu’s, San Francisco

Jessica Koslow, Sqirl, Los Angeles

Mourad Lahlou, Mourad, San Francisco

Mei Lin, Nightshade, Los Angeles

Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis, Bavel, Los Angeles

Niki Nakayama, n/naka, Los Angeles

Brandon Rodgers and Ian Scaramuzza, In Situ, San Francisco

Carlos Salgado, Taco María, Costa Mesa, CA

Joshua Skenes, Angler, San Francisco

James Syhabout, Commis, Oakland, CA

Karen Taylor Waikiki, El Molino Central, Boyes Hot Springs, CA

Pim Techamuanvivit, Kin Khao, San Francisco

Best Chef: Mountain

Carrie Baird, Bar Dough, Denver

Jen Castle and Blake Spalding, Hell’s Backbone Grill & Farm, Boulder, UT

Jeff Drew, Snake River Grill, Jackson, WY

Nick Fahs, David Barboza and Mike Blocher, Table X, Salt Lake City

Caroline Glover, Annette, Aurora, CO

Briar Handly, Handle, Park City, UT

Duncan Holmes, Beckon, Denver

Peggi Ince-Whiting, Kyoto Japanese Restaurant, Salt Lake City

Suchada Johnson, Teton Thai, Teton Village, WY

Sarah Kelly, Petite 4, Boise, ID

Tommy Lee, Hop Alley, Denver

Brother Luck, Four by Brother Luck, Colorado Springs, CO

Josh Niernberg, Bin 707 Foodbar, Grand Junction, CO

Cindhura Reddy, Spuntino, Denver

Dana Rodriguez, Super Mega Bien, Denver

Moudi Sbeity and Derek Kitchen, Laziz Kitchen, Salt Lake City

Nick Steen, Walkers Grill, Billings, MT

Dave Wells, Tasting Room at Chico Hot Springs Resort & Spa, Pray, MT

Kelly Whitaker, The Wolf’s Tailor, Denver

Luis Young, Penrose Room, Colorado Springs, CO

Best Chef: Northwest & Pacific

Chera Amlag, Hood Famous Cafe + Bar, Seattle

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

Peter Cho, Han Oak, Portland, OR

Logan Cox, Homer, Seattle

Gregory Gourdet, Departure, Portland, OR

Sun Hong, By Tae, Seattle

Chris Kajioka and Anthony Rush, Senia, Honolulu

Mitch Mayers, Sawyer, Seattle

Katy Millard, Coquine, Portland, OR

Sarah Minnick, Lovely’s Fifty Fifty, Portland, OR

Kristen Murray, MÅURICE, Portland, OR

Keiji Nakazawa, Sushi Sho, Waikiki Beach, HI

Ryan Roadhouse, Nodoguro, Portland, OR

Beau Schooler, In Bocca Al Lupo, Juneau, AK

Sheldon Simeon, Lineage, Wailea, HI

Mutsuko Soma, Kamonegi, Seattle

Naoko Tamura, Shizuku, Portland, OR

Aaron Verzosa, Archipelago, Seattle

Chad White, Zona Blanca, Spokane, WA

Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule, Seattle

Best Chef: Southwest

Nicole Brisson, Locale, Las Vegas

Alan Ji, Mott 32, Las Vegas

Stephen Jones, The Larder + The Delta, Phoenix

Bernie Kantak, Citizen Public House, Scottsdale, AZ

Dan Krohmer, Other Mama, Las Vegas

Shinji Kurita, Shinbay Omakase Room, Scottsdale, AZ

Danielle Leoni, The Breadfruit & Rum Bar, Phoenix

Maria Mazon, BOCA Tacos y Tequila, Tucson, AZ

Josie and Teako Nunn, Sparky’s Burgers, Barbeque, & Espresso, Hatch, NM

Fernando Olea, Sazón Restaurant, Sante Fe

Jonathan Perno, Campo at Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM

Chrysa Robertson, Rancho Pinot, Scottsdale, AZ

Silvana Salcido Esparza, Barrio Café Gran Reserva, Phoenix

Samantha Sanz, Talavera, Scottsdale, AZ

Jeff Smedstad, Elote Cafe, Sedona, AZ

Ryan Swanson, Kai, Gila River Indian Community, Chandler, AZ

James Trees, Esther’s Kitchen, Las Vegas

Best Chef: Texas

Kevin Fink, Emmer & Rye, Austin

Michael Fojtasek, Olamaie, Austin

Steve McHugh, Cured, San Antonio

Aldo Mora, Cafe Central, El Paso, TX

Alex Paredes, Carnitas Lonja, San Antonio

Esaul Ramos, 2M Smokehouse, San Antonio

Iliana de la Vega, El Naranjo, Austin

Laurie Williamson, Rancho Loma, Talpa, TX

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