James Beard Foundation Announces 2020 Awards Nominees

The James Beard Foundation is proud to announce the nominees for the 2020 James Beard Awards presented by Capital One. The nominees were announced today on what would have been the 30th Anniversary James Beard Awards in Chicago. Over the past few months COVID-19 has upended the restaurant community in every facet. During this time the Foundation has turned its attention to supporting the relief and rebuild efforts, postponing Awards activities to instead focus on the James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund, which to date has disbursed more than $4 million to independent, locally owned restaurants around the country. After consultation with the chefs and restaurateurs across the country, the Foundation decided to announce the 2020 nominees and honorees, and set the dates for this year’s remaining Awards events, which recognize the work done in 2019.

The announcement was livestreamed via the Foundation’s Twitter account and co-hosted by VISIT PHILADELPHIA President and CEO Jeff Guaracino and Clare Reichenbach, CEO of the James Beard Foundation. As the original nominee announcement was set to take place in Philadelphia, the Foundation shared the virtual stage with several others from the great city, including Mayor Jim Kenney,  Philadelphia’s Kalaya Thai Kitchen chef and owner, Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon, and Jamila Robinson, 2020 Journalism Awards Committee Vice Chair and Food Editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer. David Whitaker, President & CEO of Choose Chicago, also joined virtually from the Awards’s host city of Chicago.

Nominees were announced in nearly 60 categories of the Foundation’s various awards programs, including Restaurant and Chef, Restaurant Design, and Media. A complete list of nominees can be found at the end of this release, as well as at jamesbeard.org/awards.

Additionally, the Foundation announced today that they will forego hosting a physical ceremony for the 2020 Media Awards and instead will issue a press release on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 announcing the winners. Finally, Restaurant & Chef Award winners are now slated to be announced on Friday, September 25, 2020, from Chicago and they will be broadcast live via the James Beard Foundation’s  Twitter feed. Additional details on the September announcement, including format and location, are forthcoming.

“Some of the restaurants announced today are temporarily closed, some are operating in another form, such as take-out or meal relief efforts, whilst others have already announced that they will permanently close,” said Foundation CEO Clare Reichenbach. “Today we acknowledge the accomplishments of all the people behind these restaurants, and the need for everyone to fight for this industry that employs 16 million people and is a vital part of American culture.”

2020 James Beard Foundation Awards Nominees

2020 James Beard Foundation Book Awards

For cookbooks and other non-fiction food- or beverage-related books that were published in the U.S. in 2019. Winners, including the Book of the Year Award and the Cookbook Hall of Fame inductee will be announced on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.


Books with recipes focused on the cooking or foodways of regions or communities in the United States.

  • Cook Like a Local: Flavors That Can Change How You Cook and See the World
    Chris Shepherd and Kaitlyn Goalen
    (Clarkson Potter)
  • Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking
    Toni Tipton-Martin
    (Clarkson Potter)
  • South: Essential Recipes and New Explorations
    Sean Brock
    (Artisan Books)

Baking and Desserts

Books with recipes focused on breads, pastries, desserts, and other treats.

  • Dappled: Baking Recipes for Fruit Lovers

Nicole Rucker

  • Living Bread: Tradition and Innovation in Artisan Bread Making
    Daniel Leader and Lauren Chattman
  • Pastry Love: A Baker’s Journal of Favorite Recipes
    Joanne Chang
    (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Beverage with Recipes

Books focused on recipes for how to make beverages.

  • Last Call: Bartenders on Their Final Drink and the Wisdom and Rituals of Closing Time
    Brad Thomas Parsons
    (Ten Speed Press)
  • The Martini Cocktail: A Meditation on the World’s Greatest Drink, with Recipes
    Robert Simonson
    (Ten Speed Press)
  • The NoMad Cocktail Book
    Leo Robitschek
    (Ten Speed Press)

Beverage without Recipes

Beverage-focused books and guides that either don’t contain recipes or that may have minimal recipes but aren’t recipe-centric.

  • The Complete Guide to Japanese Drinks: Sake, Shochu, Japanese Whisky, Beer, Wine, Cocktails and Other Beverages
    Stephen Lyman and Chris Bunting
    (Tuttle Publishing)
  • Red & White: An Unquenchable Thirst for Wine
    Oz Clarke
    (Little, Brown Book Group) 
  • World Atlas of Wine 8th Edition
    Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson
    (Mitchell Beazley)


Books with recipes that address a broad scope of cooking, not just a single topic, technique or region.

  • All About Dinner: Simple Meals, Expert Advice
    Molly Stevens
    (W. W. Norton & Company)
  • Milk Street: The New Rules: Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook
    Christopher Kimball
  • Where Cooking Begins: Uncomplicated Recipes to Make You a Great Cook
    Carla Lalli Music
    (Clarkson Potter)

Health and Special Diets

Books with recipes related to health and nutrition, or that address specific health issues, such as allergies or diabetes.

  • The Beauty Chef Gut Guide: With 90+ Delicious Recipes and Weekly Meal Plans
    Carla Oates
    (Hardie Grant Books)
  • Cannelle et Vanille: Nourishing, Gluten-Free Recipes for Every Meal and Mood
    Aran Goyoaga
    (Sasquatch Books)
  • Gluten-Free Baking at Home: 102 Foolproof Recipes for Delicious Breads, Cakes, Cookies, and More
    Jeffrey Larsen
    (Ten Speed Press)


Books with recipes focused on food and cooking traditions of countries or regions outside of the United States.

  • Black Sea: Dispatches and Recipes – Through Darkness and Light
    Caroline Eden
    (Quadrille Publishing)
  • Ethiopia: Recipes and Traditions from the Horn of Africa
    Yohanis Gebreyesus
    (Interlink Publishing)
  • The Food of Sichuan
    Fuchsia Dunlop
    (W. W. Norton & Company)


  • American Sfoglino: A Master Class in Handmade Pasta
    Eric Wolfinger
    (Chronicle Books)
  • Le Corbuffet: Edible Art and Design Classics
    Esther Choi
  • Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico
    Quentin Bacon
    (Abrams Books)

Reference, History, and Scholarship

Includes manuals, guides, encyclopedias, and books that present research related to food or foodways.

  • Gandhi’s Search for the Perfect Diet: Eating with the World in Mind
    Nico Slate
    (University of Washington Press)
  • A South You Never Ate: Savoring Flavors and Stories from the Eastern Shore of Virginia
    Bernard L. Herman
    (The University of North Carolina Press)
  • The Whole Okra: A Seed to Stem Celebration
    Chris Smith
    (Chelsea Green Publishing)

Restaurant and Professional

Books written by a culinary professional or restaurant chef with recipes that may include advanced cooking techniques, use specialty ingredients, and require professional equipment. This includes culinary arts textbooks.

  • Dishoom: From Bombay with Love
    Shamil Thakrar, Kavi Thakrar, and Naved Nasir
    (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • Eleven Madison Park: The Next Chapter, Revised and Unlimited Edition
    Daniel Humm
    (Ten Speed Press)
  • The Whole Fish Cookbook: New Ways to Cook, Eat and Think
    Josh Niland
    (Hardie Grant Books)

Single Subject

Books with recipes focused on a single or category of ingredients, a dish, or a method of cooking – such as lobster, seafood, grains, pasta, burgers, or canning. Exceptions: baking and desserts books, vegetable-focused books, health and special diets books, restaurant and professional books, and beverage books should be entered in those respective categories.

  • From the Oven to the Table: Simple Dishes That Look After Themselves
    Diana Henry
    (Mitchell Beazley)
  • Pasta Grannies: The Official Cookbook: The Secrets of Italy’s Best Home Cooks
    Vicky Bennison
    (Hardie Grant Books)
  • Sour: The Magical Element That Will Transform Your Cooking
    Mark Diacono
    (Quadrille Publishing)

Vegetable-Focused Cooking

Books that feature recipes for how to prepare and serve vegetables and plant-based ingredients. Books may be vegetarian, vegan, or vegetable-focused with minimal reference to meats.

  • Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables
    Abra Berens
    (Chronicle Books)
  • Vegetables Illustrated: An Inspiring Guide with 700+ Kitchen-Tested Recipes
    Editors at America’s Test Kitchen
    (America’s Test Kitchen)
  • Whole Food Cooking Every Day: Transform the Way You Eat with 250 Vegetarian Recipes Free of Gluten, Dairy, and Refined Sugar
    Amy Chaplin
    (Artisan Books)


Narrative nonfiction books, including memoirs, culinary tourism, investigative journalism, food advocacy, and critical analysis of food and foodways for a general audience.

  • Eat Like a Fish: My Adventures as a Fisherman Turned Restorative Ocean Farmer
    Bren Smith
  • Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir

Kwame Onwuachi with Joshua David Stein

  • Women on Food: Charlotte Druckman and 115 Writers, Chefs, Critics, Television Stars, and Eaters

Charlotte Druckman
(Abrams Press)

2020 James Beard Foundation Broadcast Media Awards

For radio, television broadcasts, podcasts, webcasts, and documentaries appearing in 2019. Winners will be announced on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.

Audio Program

  • The Food Programme – The Search for Esiah’s Seeds
    Airs on: BBC Radio 4 and BBC Sounds
  • It Burns: The Scandal-Plagued Race to Breed the World’s Hottest Chili
    Airs on: Audible
  • The Sporkful – When White People Say Plantation

Airs on: iTunes, Sporkful, Spotify, and Stitcher

Audio Reporting

  • California Foodways  – The Curious Second Life of a Prather Ranch Cow: Biomedical Research; Trans Man Finds – and Creates – Refuge in His Family’s Small-Town Cafe; Legalizing Cannabis Impacts Food, Farming in Humboldt
    Reporter: Lisa Morehouse
    Airs on: KQED, California Foodways, iTunes, Google Play, Radio Public, SoundCloud, and Stitcher
  • Food Actually – Junk Food Actually
    Reporter: Tamar Adler
    Airs on: Luminary
  • Gravy – Mahalia Jackson’s Glori-Fried Chicken
    Reporter: Betsy Shepherd
    Airs on: southernfoodways.org and iTunes


  • Harvest Season
    Airs on: PBS
  • Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy
    Airs on: Premiered at SXSW in March 2019
  • That’s My Jazz
    Airs on: Vimeo

Online Video, Fixed Location and/or Instructional

  • Chef Studio: The Crumby Bits Cricket Macarons

Airs on: YouTube

  • Grace Young – Wok Therapist
    Airs on: GraceYoung.com and YouTube
  • Ready Jet Cook – How to Make Pad Thai with Jet Tila

Airs on: FoodNetwork.com and YouTube

Online Video, on Location

  • Eat, Drink, Share, Puerto Rico Food – El Burén de Lula
    Airs on: YouTube
  • Handmade – How Knives Are Made for New York’s Best Restaurants; How a Ceramics Master Makes Plates for Michelin-Starred Restaurants
    Airs on: Eater and YouTube
  • In Real Life – Why Eating This Fish Could Save Coral Reefs
    Airs on: YouTube and AJ+

Outstanding Personality/Host

  • Alton Brown
    Good Eats: The Return
    Airs on: Food Network
  • David Chang
    Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
    Airs on: Netflix
  • Roy Choi
    Broken Bread with Roy Choi
    Airs on: Tastemade and KCET

Television Program, in Studio or Fixed Location

  • Good Eats: The Return – American Classic: Chicken Parm
    Airs on: Food Network
  • Lidia’s Kitchen – Trattoria Favorites
    Airs on: PBS
  • Pati’s Mexican Table – A Local’s Tour of Culiacán
    Airs on: WETA; distributed nationally by American Public Television

Television Program, on Location

  • Chef’s Table – Asma Khan
    Airs on: Netflix
  • Las Crónicas del Taco (Taco Chronicles) – Canasta
    Airs on: Netflix
  • Street Food – Bangkok, Thailand
    Airs on: Netflix

Visual and Audio Technical Excellence

  • Chef’s Table
    Adam Bricker, Chloe Weaver, and Will Basanta
    Airs on: Netflix
  • Street Food
    Alexander D. Paul, Matthew Chavez, and Shane Reed
    Airs on: Netflix
  • The Taste of Place – Wild Rice
    Jesse Roesler and Kevin Russell
    Airs on: Vimeo

Visual Reporting (on TV or Online)

  • Fork the System – Moro Food of Muslim Mindanao: This is Filipino, Too
    Reporters: Joi Lee and HyoJin Park
    Airs on: Al Jazeera English Digital, YouTube, and Facebook
  • In Real Life– Why This $300 Clam Is so Important to Native Americans and China
    Reporters: AJ+ Staff
    Airs on: YouTube and AJ+
  • Rotten – The Avocado War
    Reporters: Christine Haughney, Erin Cauchi, and Gretchen Goetz
    Airs on: Netflix

2020 James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards

For articles published in English in 2019. Winners, including the Emerging Voice Award, will be announced on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.


  • What She’s Having: “Popeyes’ Fried Chicken Sandwich: A Delicious Distraction, a Cultural Lesson”; “Every Season Is Soup Season”; “Why a Somali Nook in East Boston Is One of the Country’s Best New Restaurants”
    Devra First
    The Boston Globe
  • Power Rankings: “The Official Fast Food French Fry Power Rankings”; “The Official Spicy Snack Power Rankings”; “The Official Domestic Beer Power Rankings”
    Lucas Kwan Peterson
    Los Angeles Times
  • Rooted in Place: “In Service”; “Hair, Food, and Hustle”; “The Best That We’ve Got”
    Rosalind Bentley

Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award

  • “Le Colonial Is an Orientalist Specter”; “The Ultimate Chaat Truck Crawl”; “The Fantasy — and Reality — of Dining at Chez Panisse”
    Soleil Ho
    San Francisco Chronicle
  • “NYC’s Buzziest New Sushi Parlors Are Transcendent, If You Can Handle the Bros”; “Wall Street’s Underground Russian Spa Is a Dining Destination for the Soul”; “Estiatorio Milos Is One of the Last Big Restaurant Scams in New York”
    Ryan Sutton
    Eater New York
  • “Peter Luger Used to Sizzle. Now It Sputters.”; “The 20 Most Delicious Things at Mercado Little Spain”; “Benno, Proudly Out of Step With the Age”
    Pete Wells
    The New York Times

Dining and Travel

  • “In Pursuit of the Perfect Pizza”
    Matt Goulding
    Airbnb Magazine
  • “Interview With the Vampiro”
    Dylan James Ho
  • “These Are the World’s Best Restaurants: North America, South America, Africa and Middle East”
    Besha Rodell
    Travel + Leisure and Food & Wine

Feature Reporting

  • America’s farmers in crisis during Trump’s trade wars: “Left Behind: Farmers Fight to Save Their Land in Rural Minnesota as Trade War Intensifies”; “’I’m Gonna Lose Everything’: A Farm Family Struggles to Recover after Rising Debt Pushes a Husband to Suicide”; “In Trump Country, a Season of Need on Family Farms”
    Annie Gowen
    The Washington Post
  • “The Great Land Robbery”
    Vann R. Newkirk II
    The Atlantic
  • “Value Meal”
    Tad Friend
    The New Yorker

Food Coverage in a General Interest Publication

  • The Bitter Southerner
  • Gastro Obscura
  • The New Yorker


  • “An Indigenous Community in Mexico Finds Its Voice — and Strength — in Wild Mushrooms”
    Michael Snyder
    Los Angeles Times
  • “On Hawaii, the Fight for Taro’s Revival”
    Ligaya Mishan
    T: The New York Times Style Magazine
  • “A Real Hot Mess: How Grits Got Weaponized Against Cheating Men”
    Cynthia R. Greenlee
    MUNCHIES | Food by VICE

Health and Wellness

  • “The AGEs Puzzle: How We Cook Food Is Killing Us. Scientists in SC Know Why.”; “9 Easy Ways to Eat Fewer AGEs: A Stress-Free Guide”
    Tony Bartelme
    The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC)
  • “How Washington Keeps America Sick and Fat”; “Meet the Silicon Valley Investor Who Wants Washington to Figure Out What You Should Eat”
    Catherine Boudreau and Helena Bottemiller Evich
  • “Protein Nation”
    Shaun Dreisbach

 Home Cooking

  • “6 Holiday Cookies That Will Win You the Cookie Swap”
    Hilary Cadigan and Rick Martinez
    Bon Appétit
  • “Fry Time”
    Nancy Singleton Hachisu
  • “In Praise of Schmaltz”
    Rachel Handler
    Grub Street

Innovative Storytelling

  • “Best New Restaurants 2019”
    Kevin Alexander, Nicole A. Taylor, and Adriana Velez
  • “Food and Loathing on the Campaign Trail”
    Gary He, Matt Buchanan, and Meghan McCarron
  • “Made in America”
    Tim Carman and Shelly Tan
    The Washington Post

Investigative Reporting

  • “How USDA Distorted Data to Conceal Decades of Discrimination Against Black Farmers”
    Nathan Rosenberg and Bryce Wilson Stucki
    The Counter
  • “‘The Man Who Attacked Me Works in Your Kitchen’: Victim of Serial Groper Took Justice into Her Own Hands”
    Amy Brittain and Maura Judkis
    The Washington Post
  • “The Young Hands That Feed Us”
    Karen Coates and Valeria Fernández
    Pacific Standard

Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award

  • “Forget Democratic Votes. Which Presidential Hopeful Will Eat 16 Iconic SC Foods First?”; “A James Island Meat-and-Two Secretly Switched to Carolina Gold Rice. Here’s What Happened.”; “In Prisons Across South Carolina, It’s Not a Birthday Without Cake Made by a Fellow Inmate”
    Hanna Raskin
    The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC)
  • “In Search of Hot Beef”; “Chef Jack Riebel Is in the Fight of His Life”; “Harry Singh on the Perfect Roti, Trinidad, and Life in the Kitchen”
    Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl
    Mpls.St.Paul Magazine
  • “In a Wheelchair and Hungry”; “Where to Eat Regionally Inspired Mexican Food in New York City”; “How Sichuan Became NYC’s Dominant Chinese Cuisine”
    Robert Sietsema
    Eater New York

M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award

  • “A Mind to Stay Here”
    Rosalind Bentley
  • “My Mother’s Catfish Stew”
    John T. Edge
    Oxford American
  • “An Undeserved Gift”
    Shane Mitchell
    The Bitter Southerner

Personal Essay, Long Form

  • “The Dysfunction of Food”
    Kim Foster
  • “Love, Peace, and Taco Grease: How I Left My Abusive Husband and Found Guy Fieri”
    Rax King
  • “Seeking Jewish Identity at the Sabra Hummus Factory”
    Orr Shtuhl
    The Forward

Personal Essay, Short Form

  • “For 20 Years, happy hour has seen us through work — and life”
    M. Carrie Allan
    The Washington Post
  • “How the Starbucks Macchiato Ruined My Indie Coffee Shop Experiences”
    Nicole A. Taylor
  • “In Memoriam of Hominy Grill, the Restaurant That Defined Charleston”
    Ali Rosen


  • “First Course”
    Zoe Tennant
  • “The Fruit Saver”
    Tejal Rao
    Women on Food
    (Abrams Press)
  • “The Provocations of Chef Tunde Wey”
    Brett Martin
    GQ Magazine

Wine, Spirits, and Other Beverages

  • “How Climate Change Impacts Wine”
    Eric Asimov
    The New York Times
  • “May I Help You With That Wine List?”
    Ray Isle
    Food & Wine
  • “Seltzer Is Over. Mineral Water Is Forever.”
    Jordan Michelman

2020 James Beard Foundation Outstanding Restaurant Design Awards

 75 Seats and Under

For the best restaurant design or renovation in North America since January 1, 2017.


Project: HALL by o.d.o

  • Firms: Heliotrope Architects

Project: Rupee, Seattle

  • Firms: Spoonbill Watering Hole and Restaurant, Flywheel Co. and Vermillion Architects, LLC

Project: Spoonbill Watering Hole and Restaurant, Lafayette, LA

76 Seats and Over

For the best restaurant design or renovation in North America since January 1, 2017.

  • Firms: Hacin + Associates

Project: Shore Leave, Boston

  • Firms: Ken Fulk Inc

Project: Swan & Bar Bevy, Miami

  • Firms: Klein Agency and ORA

Project: auburn, Los Angeles

Outstanding Design of Alternative Eating & Drinking Places

Eligible establishments include places where prepared food and/or beverages are served for consumption on premises (except in the case of food trucks or takeout counters) but not for markets, farm stands, food shops or groceries where ingredients are sold for preparation elsewhere. This category, added in 2019, recognizes that the nature of restaurants is changing, and food is sold and consumed in a variety of environments that do not necessarily qualify as traditional full-service restaurants.

  • Firms: Lori Chemla

Project: Carissa’s the Bakery, East Hampton, NY

  • Firms: Stonehill Taylor, MCR/Morse Development and Aaron Sciandra

Project: Connie, Queens, NY

  • Firms: Studio Dewberry and Workstead

Project: Citrus Club, Charleston, SC

 Design Icon: Chez Panisse, Berkeley, CA

 2020 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards

Best New Restaurant

A restaurant opened in the prior calendar year that already demonstrates excellence in cuisine and hospitality, and that is likely to make a significant impact in years to come.

  • Automatic Seafood & Oysters, Birmingham, AL
  • Demi, Minneapolis
  • Eem, Portland, OR
  • Fox & the Knife, Boston
  • Gado Gado, Portland, OR
  • Gianna, New Orleans
  • Kalaya, Philadelphia
  • Nightshade, Los Angeles
  • Pasjoli, Santa Monica, CA
  • Verjus, San Francisco

Outstanding Baker

A pastry chef or baker who demonstrates exceptional skill, integrity, and character in the preparation of desserts, pastries, or breads served in a retail bakery. Eligible candidates must have been working as a pastry chef or baker for the past five years.

  • Graison Gill, Bellegarde Bakery, New Orleans
  • Zachary Golper, Bien Cuit, NYC
  • Maura Kilpatrick, Sofra Bakery, Cambridge, MA
  • Lisa Ludwinski, Sister Pie, Detroit
  • Avery Ruzicka, Manresa Bread, Los Gatos, CA

Outstanding Bar Program

A restaurant or bar that demonstrates exceptional care and skill in the selection, preparation, and serving of cocktails, spirits, and/or beer.

  • Anvil Bar & Refuge, Houston
  • Expatriate, Portland, OR
  • Kimball House, Decatur, GA
  • Lost Lake, Chicago
  • Trick Dog, San Francisco

Outstanding Chef (Presented by All-Clad Metalcrafters)

A chef who sets high culinary standards and who has served as a positive example for other food professionals. Eligible candidates must have been working as a chef for the past five years.

  • David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA
  • Corey Lee, Benu, San Francisco
  • Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans
  • Missy Robbins, Lilia, NYC
  • Ana Sortun, Oleana, Cambridge, MA
  • Marc Vetri, Vetri Cucina, Philadelphia

Outstanding Hospitality (Presented by American Airlines)

A restaurant in operation for five or more years that demonstrates consistency and exceptional thoughtfulness in hospitality and service.

  • Brigtsen’s, New Orleans
  • Canlis, Seattle
  • Saison, San Francisco
  • Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco
  • Zingerman’s Roadhouse, Ann Arbor, MI

Outstanding Pastry Chef (Presented by Lavazza)

A pastry chef or baker who demonstrates exceptional skill, integrity, and character in the preparation of desserts, pastries, or breads served in a restaurant. Must have been working as a pastry chef or baker for the past five years.

  • Lincoln Carson, Bon Temps, Los Angeles
  • Juan Contreras, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco
  • Margarita Manzke, République, Los Angeles
  • Diane Moua, Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis
  • Natasha Pickowicz, Flora Bar, NYC
  • Miro Uskokovic, Gramercy Tavern, NYC

Outstanding Restaurant (Presented by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water)

A restaurant that demonstrates consistent excellence in food, atmosphere, service, and operations. Eligible candidates must have been in business 10 or more consecutive years.

  • FIG, Charleston, SC
  • Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder, CO
  • Jaleo, Washington, D.C.
  • Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix
  • Quince, San Francisco

Outstanding Restaurateur 

A restaurateur who demonstrates creativity in entrepreneurship and integrity in restaurant operations. Eligible candidates must have been in the restaurant business for at least 10 years and they must not have been nominated for a James Beard Foundation chef award in the past five years.

  • Paul Bartolotta, The Bartolotta Restaurants, Milwaukee (Ristorante Bartolotta, Harbor House, Lake Park Bistro, and others)
  • Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer, JK Food Group, Boston (Little Donkey, Toro, Coppa)
  • JoAnn Clevenger, Upperline Restaurant, New Orleans
  • Alex Raij and Eder Montero, NYC (La Vara, Saint Julivert Fisherie, Txikito)
  • Jason Wang, Xi’an Famous Foods, NYC

Outstanding Wine Program

A restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence in wine service through a carefully considered wine list and a well-informed approach to helping customers choose and drink wine.

  • Bacchanal, New Orleans
  • Canard, Portland, OR
  • Miller Union, Atlanta
  • Night + Market Sahm, Venice, CA
  • Spiaggia, Chicago

Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Producer

A beer, wine, or spirits producer who demonstrates consistency and exceptional skill in his or her craft.

  • Scott Blackwell and Ann Marshall, High Wire Distilling Co., Charleston, SC
  • Cathy Corison, Corison Winery, St. Helena, CA
  • Drew Kulsveen, Willett Distillery, Bardstown, KY
  • Todd Leopold and Scott Leopold, Leopold Bros., Denver
  • Lance Winters, St. George Spirits, Alameda, CA

Rising Star Chef of the Year (Presented by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water)

A chef age 30 or younger, born on or after January 1 in the year occurring thirty years prior to the award year in which such chef is to be considered for the award (e.g., January 1, 1976 for candidates to be considered in awards year 2006), who displays exceptional talent, character, and leadership ability, and who is likely to make a significant impact in years to come.

  • Will Aghajanian and Liz Johnson, The Catbird Seat, Nashville
  • Irene Li, Mei Mei, Boston
  • Gaby Maeda, State Bird Provisions, San Francisco
  • Ashleigh Shanti, Benne on Eagle, Asheville, NC
  • Paola Velez, Kith/Kin, Washington, D.C.
  • Jon Yao, Kato, Los Angeles

Best Chefs (Presented by Capital One)

Chefs who set high culinary standards and also demonstrate integrity and admirable leadership skills in their respective regions. A nominee may be from any kind of dining establishment but must have been working as a chef for at least five years, with the three most recent years spent in the region.

Best Chef: California

  • Jeremy Fox, Birdie G’s, Santa Monica, CA
  • Brandon Jew, Mister Jiu’s, San Francisco
  • Jessica Koslow, Sqirl, Los Angeles
  • Mourad Lahlou, Mourad, San Francisco
  • Joshua Skenes, Angler, San Francisco
  • Pim Techamuanvivit, Kin Khao, San Francisco

Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH)

  • Jason Hammel, Lula Cafe, Chicago
  • Gene Kato, Momotaro, Chicago
  • Noah Sandoval, Oriole, Chicago
  • John Shields and Karen Urie Shields, Smyth, Chicago
  • Erick Williams, Virtue, Chicago
  • Lee Wolen, Boka, Chicago

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)

  • Amy Brandwein, Centrolina, Washington, D.C.
  • Nicholas Elmi, Laurel, Philadelphia
  • Rich Landau, Vedge, Philadelphia
  • Cristina Martinez, South Philly Barbacoa, Philadelphia
  • Jon Sybert, Tail Up Goat, Washington, D.C.
  • Cindy Wolf, Charleston, Baltimore

Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)

  • Steven Brown, Tilia, Minneapolis
  • Michael Corvino, Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room, Kansas City, MO
  • Michael Gallina, Vicia, St. Louis
  • Jamie Malone, Grand Café, Minneapolis
  • Christina Nguyen, Hai Hai, Minneapolis

Best Chef: Mountain (CO, ID, MT, UT, WY)

  • Carrie Baird, Bar Dough, Denver
  • Jen Castle and Blake Spalding, Hell’s Backbone Grill & Farm, Boulder, UT
  • Jeff Drew, Snake River Grill, Jackson, WY
  • Caroline Glover, Annette, Aurora, CO
  • Dana Rodriguez, Super Mega Bien, Denver
  • Kelly Whitaker, The Wolf’s Tailor, Denver

Best Chef: New York State

  • Sean Gray, Momofuku Ko, NYC
  • Brooks Headley, Superiority Burger, NYC
  • Junghyun Park, Atomix, NYC
  • Daniela Soto-Innes, ATLA, NYC
  • Alex Stupak, Empellón, NYC

Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT)

  • Vien Dobui, CÔNG TỬ BỘT, Portland, ME
  • Tiffani Faison, Orfano, Boston
  • Ben Jackson, Drifters Wife, Portland, ME
  • Krista Kern Desjarlais, The Purple House, North Yarmouth, ME
  • Greg Mitchell and Chad Conley, Palace Diner, Biddeford, ME
  • Cassie Piuma, Sarma, Somerville, MA

Best Chef: Northwest & Pacific (AK, HI, OR, WA)

  • Peter Cho, Han Oak, Portland, OR
  • Gregory Gourdet, Departure, Portland, OR
  • Chris Kajioka and Anthony Rush, Senia, Honolulu
  • Katy Millard, Coquine, Portland, OR
  • Kristen Murray, MÅURICE, Portland, OR
  • Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule, Seattle

Best Chef: South (AL, AR, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, FL, LA, MS)

  • Jose Enrique, Jose Enrique, San Juan, PR
  • Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus, Coquette, New Orleans
  • Michael Gulotta, Maypop, New Orleans
  • Mason Hereford, Turkey and the Wolf, New Orleans
  • Isaac Toups, Toups’ Meatery, New Orleans

Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)

  • Katie Button, Cúrate, Asheville, NC
  • Cassidee Dabney, The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN
  • Cheetie Kumar, Garland, Raleigh, NC
  • Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Memphis
  • Julia Sullivan, Henrietta Red, Nashville

Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, NM, NV, OK)

  • Dan Krohmer, Other Mama, Las Vegas
  • Jonathan Perno, Campo at Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM
  • Chrysa Robertson, Rancho Pinot, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Silvana Salcido Esparza, Barrio Café Gran Reserva, Phoenix
  • Jeff Smedstad, Elote Cafe, Sedona, AZ
  • James Trees, Esther’s Kitchen, Las Vegas

Best Chef: Texas

  • Kevin Fink, Emmer & Rye, Austin
  • Michael Fojtasek, Olamaie, Austin
  • Anita Jaisinghani, Pondicheri, Houston
  • Steve McHugh, Cured, San Antonio
  • Trong Nguyen, Crawfish & Noodles, Houston

2020 Leadership Award Honorees

  • Phillip and Dorathy E. Barker, Co-Founders, Operation Spring Plant, Inc. (OSP)
  • Rosalinda Guillen, Executive Director, Community to Community Development (C2C)
  • Abiodun Henderson, Executive Director, The Come Up Project featuring Gangstas to Growers
  • Mark and Kerry Marhefka, Owners, Abundant Seafood
  • Caleb Zigas, Executive Director, La Cocina

Previously Announced Honorees

Humanitarian of the Year: Zero Foodprint

Lifetime Achievement: Jessica B. Harris

America’s Classics

  • Lassis Inn

Little Rock, AR

Owners: Elihue Washington Jr. and Maria Washington

  • Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth

Frankenmuth, MI

Owners: Al Zehnder, Susan Zehnder, and Martha Zehnder Shelton

  • Puritan Backroom

Manchester, NH

Owners: Arthur Pappas, Chris Pappas, and Eric Zink

  • Oriental Mart


Owners: Mila Apostol and Joy Apostol

  • El Taco de Mexico


Owner: Sasha Zanabria

  • Vera’s Backyard Bar-B-Que

Brownsville, TX

Owner: Armando Vera

About the 2020 James Beard Awards Presented by Capital One

The 2020 James Beard Awards will mark the 30th anniversary of America’s most coveted and comprehensive honors for chefs, restaurants, journalists, authors, and other leaders in the food and beverage industry, celebrating culinary excellence and achievements from the previous year. Due to the devastating effects that COVID-19 has had on the food and beverage industry, this year’s Awards will look unlike any from the past. In March, the Foundation postponed both the Media and Restaurant & Chef Awards Ceremonies, and will now announce the winners of the Media Awards via a press release on Wednesday, May 27, foregoing a physical Media Awards ceremony in 2020. The Restaurant & Chef Award winners are slated to be announced on Friday, September 25, 2020, from Chicago and they will be broadcast live via the James Beard Foundation’s  Twitter feed. Additional details on the September announcement, including format and location, are forthcoming.

The Foundation knows the positive impact that a James Beard Award semifinalist nod, nomination, or win can have on a restaurant or chef, and now more than ever, celebrating these professionals is paramount for our community.

The James Beard Foundation is working diligently to ensure that independent restaurant industry doesn’t only endure, but flourishes in a way that is more economically and environmentally sustainable, more inclusive, more equitable, and more delicious following the eventual resolution of the pandemic.

The Foundation has redeployed staff and redirected program support for the next 12-18 months to our Open for Good campaign to support the recovery and rebuilding of an independent restaurant industry that is stronger than ever. Emergency relief funding was the first phase of this commitment; with Open for Good, the Foundation is creating programs to help restaurants build the capacity to come back stronger, more resilient, and better prepared for the new economic, social, and cultural realities of this time. Among the components of the Open for Good campaign are workshops, trainings, expert advice, and best practices on reopening and restructuring; continued advocacy programs to support federal, state, and local legislation that benefits the independent restaurant industry; and financial support for restaurants to rebuild. The Foundation will continue to provide meaningful information disseminated via social media, newsletters, webinars, and online events, and engage with our 1 million plus audience base across platforms to bring awareness to major pandemic-related issues and advocate for the industry so we can be #OpenforGood.

The 2020 James Beard Awards are presented by Capital One, the official credit card and banking partner of the James Beard Foundation. Through this first-of-its-kind partnership, Capital One cardholders enjoy exclusive access to James Beard Foundation programming. The James Beard Awards are proudly hosted by Choose Chicago and the Illinois Restaurant Association and presented in association with Chicago O’Hare and Midway International Airports, as well as the following partners: Premier Sponsors: All-Clad Metalcrafters, American Airlines, the official airline of the James Beard Foundation, HMSHost, Lavazza, S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water; Supporting Sponsors: National Restaurant Association®, Skuna Bay Salmon, Tabasco® Sauce, Valrhona, White Claw® Hard Seltzer, Windstar Cruises, the official cruise line of the James Beard Foundation; Gala Reception Sponsors: Ecolab, Front of the House®, Kendall College, with additional support from VerTerra Dinnerware. Intersport is the Official Broadcast Partner of the 2020 James Beard Awards.

Established in 1990, the James Beard Awards recognize culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields and further the Foundation’s mission to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. The first James Beard Awards were given in 1991. The James Beard Awards are governed by the volunteer Awards Committee. Each Awards program (Restaurants and Chefs, Books, Journalism, Design, Broadcast Media, and Leadership) has its own subcommittee made up of industry professionals who volunteer their time to oversee the policies, procedures, and selection of judges for their respective Awards programs. All James Beard Award winners receive a certificate and a medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia.

About the James Beard Foundation

The James Beard Foundation promotes good food for good™. For more than 30 years, the James Beard Foundation has highlighted the centrality of food culture in our daily lives. Through the James Beard Awardsunique dining experiences at the James Beard House and around the country, scholarships, hands-on learning, and a variety of industry programs that educate and empower leaders in our community, the Foundation has built a platform for chefs and asserted the power of gastronomy to drive behavior, culture, and policy change around food. To that end, the Foundation has also created signature impact-oriented initiatives that include our Women’s Leadership Programs aimed at addressing the gender imbalance in the culinary industry; advocacy training through our Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change; and the James Beard Foundation Leadership Awards that shine a spotlight on successful change makers. The organization is committed to giving chefs and their colleagues a voice and the tools they need to make the world more sustainable, equitable, and delicious for everyone. For more information, subscribe to the digital newsletter Beard Bites and follow @beardfoundation on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

The James Beard Foundation is a national not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in New York City.

About Capital One

At Capital One we’re on a mission for our customers – bringing them great products, rewards, service, and access to unique and unforgettable experiences they are passionate about. Capital One is a diversified bank that offers products and services to individuals, small businesses and commercial clients. We use technology, innovation and interaction to provide consumers with products and services to meet their needs. Learn more at capitalone.com/access.