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Several L.A. Chefs Make The Cut For The James Beard Award Nominations
The nominees for this year's James Beard Foundation Awards—considered the Oscars of the food world—have just been announced, and several hometown restaurant heroes made the final list.
While there aren't as many local finalists for the annual awards as some previous years, L.A. chefs did manage to represent in several categories. The list includes several familiar names that have been nominated in the past, including chefs Michael Cimarusti of Providence, Jeremy Fox of Rustic Canyon and Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Animal, who are all up for Best Chef in the West category. Past winner Suzanne Goin is up for the lauded Outstanding Chef spot this time around.
Unfortunately, some of the exciting newcomers to L.A.'s dining scene didn't make it past the semifinal round, including the strip mall ode to all-things-fermented Baroo, which was nominated for Best New Restaurant, or chefs Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson of Madcapra, who were on the list for Rising Star Chef of the Year.
And in case you're wondering why our local nominees lack some newer favorites in the big categories, L.A. Magazine points out that some of the nominating guidelines preclude some upstarts. For instance, to be nominated for Outstanding Chef, "eligible candidates must have been working as a chef for the past five years." Meanwhile, to make the cut for Outstanding Restaurant, the joint must be operating for 10 or more consecutive years. We'll just have to keep our strip mall secrets to ourselves for now.
We do know for sure that Father Greg Boyle of Homeboy Industries will be honored this year with an award for Humanitarian of the Year. Let's just hope that Los Angeles doesn't get passed over in the other categories like last year when we sadly came home with zero wins.
Below is the full list of L.A.'s finalists, and stay tuned for when the winners are announced in Chicago on May 2.
Suzanne Goin, Lucques
Outstanding Pastry Chef
Dahlia Narvaez, Osteria Mozza
Best Chef: West
Michael Cimarusti, Providence
Jeremy Fox, Rustic Canyon
Jon Shook / Vinny Dotolo, Animal
Design (restaurant under 75 seats)
Jon & Vinny's (designers: Jon Shook, Vinny Dotolo, Helen Johannesen, Jeff Guga)
Books: Cooking From a Professional Point of View
Gjelina: Cooking from Venice, CA - Travis Lett
Food Coverage in a General-Interest Publication
Los Angeles Magazine - Lesley Bargar Suter and Bill Esparza