In case you missed this morning's news out of New York, the semi-finalist "long list" for this year's James Beard Foundation Awards (a.k.a. the food Oscars) was announced, and the Bay Area is well represented as usual. Among the surprises, three-month old AQ gets named among the country's best new restaurants, alongside Park Tavern. Mission Chinese Food's Danny Bowien gets yet another feather in his cap with a Rising Star nod along with category veteran Thomas McNaughton of Flour + Water. And for the second year in a row, Aaron London, who recently announced his departure from Ubuntu, gets tapped for Rising Star as well.
Also notable, SPQR's Matt Accarrino gets named among some of his more fine-dining colleagues like Daniel Patterson, Corey Lee, and Christopher Kostow in the Best Chef: Pacific category. And the first two possible S.F. finalists in the inaugural year of the Outstanding Bar Program category are Bar Agricole and Beretta.
The list of finalists for this year's awards will get whittled from this list and announced on March 19, and the winners will be announced at the gala ceremony on May 7.
James Beard’s 2012 Chef and Restaurant Semifinalists Announced [Grub Street NY]