It’s that time again, when Angelenos learn which of their favorite chefs, restaurants, wine experts, bar peeps, bloggers, journalists, TV personalities, and cookbook authors were chosen as finalists for a James Beard Foundation award. It’s also time for the usual (and often very warranted) grumbling about L.A. folks being underrepresented. This year appears to be no different:
Best New Restaurant? Zero L.A. nominees
Rising Star Chef? Nada.
Outstanding restaurant? Zip.
Outstanding Bar Program? Zilch. (Seriously? This one makes us kinda grumpy.)
Of course, none of the oversights can undermine how thrilled we are for the few local standouts that did manage to score a nod:
Matt Molina of Mozza earned a nomination for Best Chef, Pacific. (Of course, out of the five finalists, he’s the only one NOT from Northern California. Le sigh…)
Dahlia Narvaez (Osteria Mozza) is a well-deserved finalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef.
Both Caroline Styne (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern) and Valentino’s Piero Selvaggio received a nomination for best restaurateur.
Nancy Silverton was nominated for Outstanding chef. (A biggie.)
And this year’s lifetime achievement award will be going to our very own Wolfgang Puck!
As for the Journalism, Cookbook, and Broadcast award nominations? These we are a little happier about. And surely it has nothing to do with the fact that our “Ultimate Guide to Chinese Food,” “Breakfast in L.A.” package, and the “Farm to Table Food Lovers Guide” earned us a nomination in this year’s new category: Best Food Coverage In A General-Interest Publication. Awe shucks, we’re honored.
Who else should be proud?
The L.A. Times’ (that still feels weird) Jonathan Gold can add one more notch to his ever-expanding awards belt. The Pulitzer-Prize winner was nominated for the Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review award for his L.A. Weekly reviews of Red Medicine, Lukshon, and Noodle Boy.
For the full list of nominees in every category, download the full list here.
Winners will be announced in ceremonies on May 4 (for Journalism) and May 7 (for Chefs) in New York City.