NY, NJ, CT restaurants, chefs and bakers among James Beard Award semifinalists

NY, NJ, CT restaurants, chefs and bakers among James Beard Award semifinalists

The long list of nominees up for the country’s “foodie Oscars” is out — and unsurprisingly, tristate area kitchens are very well represented.

Today’s announcement of semifinalists who’ll compete for the 2023 James Beard Awards, which are among the most prestigious prizes for American chefs and restaurants, includes old neighborhood favorites, new upstarts – and, for the first time in the awards’ history – bakeries.

On the list of Outstanding Restaurants is Veselka, an East Village mainstay since it opened in 1954. Among the semifinalists for Best New Restaurant is Dept. of Culture, a Nigerian restaurant in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. And one of the nominees for the newly created Outstanding Bakery award is She-Wolf, the Greenpoint-based breadmaker whose loaves can be regularly found throughout the city’s greenmarkets.

The award is handed out by the nonprofit James Beard Foundation, which has been celebrating US food culture for over 30 years. The awards returned in 2022 after a two-year absence, during which the foundation and the awards committee reckoned with workplace accusations surrounding some of its past nominees and winners, as well as accusations of a lack of diversity among past winners.

Clare Reichenbach, the foundation’s CEO, says lessons have been learned.

“After a year of fundamental changes, we look forward to building on the progress made,” Reichenbach said in a statement, “celebrating those paving a better future for us all — through their talent and craft, service to others, and commitment to a better, more sustainable industry.”

The long list of semifinalist nominees will be whittled down to finalists, to be announced on March 29. Winners will be announced on June 5 at an award ceremony that will be held at Chicago’s Lyric Opera.

Make your reservation – or pick up your loaf – now.

A full list of the tristate area’s 2023 James Beard Awards semifinalists is below.

Outstanding Restaurant

Cora Cora, West Hartford, CT

Veselka, New York, NY

Via Carota, New York, NY

Outstanding Chef

Shigeru Fukuyoshi, Sagami, Collingswood, NJ

Eder Montero and Alex Raij, La Vara, Brooklyn, NY

Erik Ramirez, Llama Inn, Brooklyn, NY

Best New Restaurant

Al Coro, New York, NY

Dept of Culture, New York, NY

KRU, Brooklyn, NY

Stissing House, Pine Plains, NY

Emerging Chef

Telly Justice, HAGS, New York, NY

Charlie Mitchell, Clover Hill, New York, NY

Outstanding Bakery

She Wolf Bakery, New York, NY

Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker

Nora Faye Allen, Mel the Bakery, New York, NY

Camari Mick, The Musket Room, New York, NY

Outstanding Bar

Dante, New York, NY

Harlem Hops, New York, NY

Outstanding Restaurateurs

Sims and Kirsten Harlow Foster, Foster Supply Hospitality (The DeBruce, Arnold House Tavern, and Kenoza Hall), NY

Outstanding Hospitality

Lil’ Deb’s Oasis, Hudson, NY

Melba’s, New York, NY

Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program

COAST, New York, NY

Waxlight Wine Bar, Buffalo, NY

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic

Philip Manganaro, Park Place Cafe & Restaurant, Merchantville, NJ

Melissa McGrath, Sweet Amalia Market & Kitchen, Newfield, NJ

Best Chef: New York State

Gerardo Alcaraz, Aldama, Brooklyn, NY

Nasim Alikhani, Sofreh, Brooklyn, NY

Mary Attea, The Musket Room, New York, NY

Giovanni Cervantes, Taqueria Ramirez, Brooklyn, NY

Amanda Cohen, Dirt Candy, New York, NY

Calvin Eng, Bonnie’s, Brooklyn, NY

Shenarri Freeman, Cadence, New York, NY

Charles Gabriel, Charles Pan-Fried Chicken, New York, NY

Anthony Gonçalves, Kanopi, White Plains, NY

Sol Han, Little Mad, New York, NY

JJ Johnson, FIELDTRIP, New York, NY

Sohui Kim, Gage & Tollner, Brooklyn, NY

Shaina Loew-Banayan, Cafe Mutton, Hudson, NY

Paolo Garcia Mendoza, Karenderya, Nyack, NY

Ayesha Nurdjaja, Shukette, New York, NY

Junghyun Park, Atomix, New York, NY

Franco Sampogna, Frevo, New York, NY

Eric See, Ursula, Brooklyn, NY

Hillary Sterling, Ci Siamo, New York, NY

Sohail Zandi, Brushland Eating House, Bovina, NY

Best Chef: Northeast

Christian Hunter, Community Table, Washington, CT

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