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L.A. Chefs Get Lots of Love from James Beard Award Nominations

Photo of nominated Rising Star Chef Bernhard Mairinger courtesy of Bierbeisl
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The James Beard Foundation announced the semifinalist nominees for the 2013 Restaurant Awards today, giving L.A. quite a bit more love than they usually do. The Foundation's nod follows suit of publications like the New York Post and GQ, who wrote gushing features about our fair city's F & B scene this past year.

The nominees and winners are voted on by a jury of the candidates peers, which includes journalists, past nominees, and past winners. And anybody who votes is asked to have actually experienced a particular restaurant’s atmosphere and food in order to vote for it. So it stands to reason that with all the buzz surrounding our culinary scene, more big name food folks are actually traveling to L.A. to see what's shakin'.

One restaurant that seems to be a darling to the voters is BierBeisl, who got a semifinal nom for both best new restaurant and rising star chef. The Austrian restaurant, which turns one next week Wednesday, has been one of our favorite openings of the past year, too. (If there's a JBF Fantasy League out there, we want in.) Also in the category for Best New Restaurant is Tar & Roses in Santa Monica, whose wood roasted peas with mint and sea salt is still one of the best bar bites in town.

Angeleno chefs seemingly swept the West category, with chefs like Josef Centeno,
Andrew Kirschner, David LeFevre, M.B. Post, John Rivera Sedlar, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Ricardo Zarate, and Michael Cimarusti making the cut. And Karen Hatfield of Sycamore Kitchen, whose ooey gooey babka rolls we absolutely adore, got a semifinal nom for Outstanding Pastry Chef.

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But of course, things aren't all sunshine and roses. There wasn't a single L.A. nom in the Outstanding Wine Program category. Sort of odd, considering how many stellar somms there are in this city. And when it comes to service, the only restaurant remaining is Providence, which really isn't much of a surprise considering how incredibly casual even the priciest restaurants in L.A. are.

The final five nominees in each category will be announced during a press conference on March 18. Here's a list of Angelenos who made each category. For the full list of national nominees, you can visit the JBF site.

Best New Restaurant

BierBeisl, Beverly Hills, CA
Tar & Roses, Santa Monica, CA

Outstanding Bar Program

Rivera, Los Angeles
The Varnish, Los Angeles

Outstanding Chef

Suzanne Goin, Lucques, West Hollywood, CA
Nancy Silverton, Pizzeria Mozza, Los Angeles

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Karen Hatfield, The Sycamore Kitchen, Los Angeles

Outstanding Restaurant

Patina, Los Angeles
Mélisse, Santa Monica, CA

Outstanding Restauranteur

Piero Selvaggio, Valentino Restaurant Group (Valentino, Valentino Vin Bar), Santa Monica, CA
Caroline Styne (Lucques, Tavern, A.O.C., etc.), West Hollywood, CA

Outstanding Service

Providence, Los Angeles

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Outstanding Wine Beer or Sprits Professional

Manfred Krankl, Sine Qua Non, Ventura, CA

Rising Star Chef

Bernhard Mairinger, BierBeisl, Beverly Hills, CA
Kris Yenbamroong, Night + Market, West Hollywood, CA

Best Chef, West

Josef Centeno, Bäco Mercat, Los Angeles
Andrew Kirschner, Tar & Roses, Santa Monica, CA
David LeFevre, M.B. Post, Manhattan Beach, CA
John Rivera Sedlar, Rivera, Los Angeles
Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Animal, Los Angeles
Ricardo Zarate, Mo-Chica, Los Angeles
Michael Cimarusti, Providence, Los Angeles