The Bay Area is known for some of the finest cuisine in both the nation and the world. One of the most prestigious awards for chefs and restaurants is the James Beard Award. For 2013, 37 semifinalists from the Bay Area were named out of 44,000 nominees from around the country.
Best New Restaurant
Two San Francisco restaurants made the final cut for Best New Restaurant, Rich Table and State Bird Provisions. Rich Table is the brainchild of chefs Evan and Sarah Rich, who combined with wine director Maz Naba to create a rich Californian dining experience in a relaxed environment. State Bird Provisions is owned by chefs Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski. The menu features a number of small plates utilizing the farm-to-table approach.
Best Chef: West
The Best Chef in the West award is nearly evenly split between NorCal and SoCal chefs, with nine different semifinalists from the Bay Area. Matthew Accarrino of SPQR, Nicolaus Balla of Bar Tartine, Chris Cosentino of Incanto, Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn, Mourad Lahlou of Aziza, Corey Lee of Benu, and Daniel Patterson of Coi all call San Francisco their homes. Michael Chiarello of Bottega in Yountville and Christopher Kostow of The Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena round out the Bay Area's semifinalists. Chiarello, Cosentino, and Lahlou are arguably the best known in the area and stand a good chance of taking home the Best Chef: West Award.
Three local chefs were nominated for the even more prestigious Outstanding Chef Award. The country-wide list includes Gary Danko of Restaurant Gary Danko, David Kinch of Manresa, and Michael Tusk of Quince as the Bay Area's semifinalists. Danko is the most renowned, as his self-named restaurant has been a San Francisco institution for several years.
The Outstanding Restaurant category has four Bay Area semifinalists for 2013. Charles Phan's modern Vietnamese The Slanted Door, Greens Restaurant, and Foreign Cinema are all located in San Francisco, and Terra in St. Helena also made the list. Greens is unique as a vegetarian restaurant, while Terra is constantly reinventing itself to stay up with the times.
More Bay Area Semifinalists
Melissa Chou and William Werner are the Bay Area Outstanding Pastry Chef semifinalists. Chou is the other half of the creative genius at Mourad Lahlou's Moroccan restaurant Aziza. Werner hails from Craftsman and Wolves.
Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese Food and Thomas McNaughton of Flour + Water are both semifinalists for Rising Star Chef of the Year.
Mark and Terri Stark of Stark Reality Restaurants are semifinalists for Outstanding Restaurateur. The North Bay pair has a handful of restaurants in Santa Rosa and Healdsburg, including Willi's Wine Bar, Monti's Rotisserie & Bar, and Willi's Seafood & Raw Bar.
Three local restaurants are semifinalists for Outstanding Service: Michael Mina and Quince, both in San Francisco, as well as Kostow's The Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena.
As for Outstanding Bar Program, The Abbot's Cellar and Bar Agricole in San Francisco are both semifinalists. A16, Nopa, and Press are semifinalists for Outstanding Wine Program. Several people the Bay Area are semifinalists for Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional, including John and Kathe Dyson of Williams Selyem Winery, Duncan Meyers and Nathan Roberts of Arnot-Roberts, Merry Edwards of Merry Edwards Winery, and Ted Lemon of Littorai Wines. Jorg Rupf, of St. George Spirits, which operates in the former home of the Naval Air Station in Alameda, is also a semifinalist in this category.
Finalists for all James Beard categories will be announced on March 18, and winners will receive their awards on May 6 in New York City.
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