We’re getting down to the real juices of the James Beard Foundation Awards with this week’s spotlight: the 2012 Restaurant and Chef Awards nominees.
This category encompasses a wide range of chefs, pastry chefs, entrepreneurs, and wine/spirits professionals from around the country, and it’s arguably the one that gets the most attention in all of the JBF Awards. If you’re a chef and you make this list, your career is set for years to come.
Coming from the Angeleno perspective, it’s only fair that to give due shoutouts to the nominees in California, from NorCal to SoCal. Central California dominates the nominee pool this year, with San Francisco being represented in almost every category. But special props go to our very own Osteria Mozza, which boasts three different nominees.
Read on to see our Golden State’s nominees for the 2012 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards. Winners will be announced on May 7, 2012.
Best Chef: Pacific
Michael Chiarello, Bottega, Yountville, CA
Chris Cosentino, Incanto, San Francisco, CA
Daniel Patterson, Coi, San Francisco, CA
Christopher Kostow, The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, CA
Matt Molina, Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles, CA
Best New Restaurant
AQ, San Francisco, CA
Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional
Merry Edwards, Merry Edwards Winery, Sebastopol, CA
Outstanding Wine Program
A16, San Francisco, CA
Outstanding Bar Program
Bar Agricole, San Francisco, CA
Cyrus, Healdsburg, CA
Outstanding Pastry Chef
Melissa Chou, Aziza, San Francisco, CA
Dahlia Narvaez, Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles, CA
Piero Selvaggio, Valentino Restaurant Group, Santa Monica, CA
Rising Star Chef of the Year
Daniel Bowien, Mission Chinese Food, San Francisco, CA
Thomas McNaughton, flour + water, San Francisco, CA
Boulevard, San Francisco, CA
Nancy Silverton, Pizzeria Mozza, Los Angeles, CA
Gary Danko, Restaurant Gary Danko, San Francisco, CA
To see the full list of Journalism nominees, see the JBF Awards Nominees booklet found here.