The James Beard Foundation announced their chef and restaurant semi-finalists today, a.k.a. the "long list" that will in mid-March become the short list of actual nominees, or finalists. It really is quite a long list, and we'll just point you to the full list at Grub Street NY if you want to read through it all. Below, we bring you the relevant chefs, and restaurants, from the Bay Area who have all gotten a leg up making it onto the list via Awards Committee member Michael Bauer.
We're happy to see some new names popping up this year for the Best Chef in the western region, like Dominque Crenn of Atelier Crenn and Matthew Accarrino of SPQR (who both just got their first Michelin stars), and Nick Balla at Bar Tartine. Also, we're pretty sure both Thomas McNaughton and Danny Bowien will make it to the finalists list for Rising Star, given the apotheosis of Bowien that's been happening in the press, and given that they both made the short list last year.
And, of course, one of the more talked-about prizes is in the Best New Restaurant category, in which S.F. hasn't fared so well the past couple of years. Look for either State Bird Provisions or Rich Table (or maybe both) to become a finalist.
Please note that these lists will get pared down to five or so finalists per category on March 18, combined with the nominees from elsewhere, and likely only a couple of the Bay Area people will make those lists. The awards will be given out at a ceremony at Lincoln Center in New York on May 6.
Best Chef: West
Matthew Accarrino, SPQR
Nicolaus Balla, Bar Tartine
Chris Cosentino, Incanto
Dominique Crenn, Atelier Crenn
Mark Estee, Campo (Reno)
Christopher Kostow, The Restaurant at Meadowood (St. Helena)
Mourad Lahlou, Aziza
Corey Lee, Benu
Daniel Patterson, Coi
Rising Star Chef of the Year
Danny Bowien, Mission Chinese Food
Thomas McNaughton, Flour + Water and Central Kitchen
Best New Restaurant
State Bird Provisions
Gary Danko, Restaurant Gary Danko
David Kinch, Manresa
Michael Tusk, Quince
Oustanding Pastry Chef
Melissa Chou, Aziza
William Werner, Craftsman & Wolves
The Slanted Door
Outstanding Bar Program
Earlier: Boulevard Wins Big for S.F. at the James Beard Awards, But Thats About It
Kostow, Chiarello, Patterson, and Cosentino Lead S.F.s 2012 James Beard Nominees
Park Tavern, AQ, Danny Bowien Land on James Beard Semi-Finalist List