San francisco restaurants

Quince among San Francisco restaurants nominated for James Beard Awards

More than a dozen Bay Area chefs and restaurants have been nominated for the 2020 James Beard Foundation Awards, the restaurant industry’s highest honors, which were announced on Twitter Monday.

Some of the top honors went to San Francisco restaurateurs Michael and Lindsay Tusk, whose Michelin-starred restaurant Quince was named a finalist for Outstanding Restaurant and whose wine bar Verjus was named a finalist for Best New Restaurant.

Meanwhile, David Kinch (Manresa) and Corey Lee (Benu) were nominated for Outstanding Chef, which is a national honor. In the California regional category, four chefs from San Francisco also picked up Best Chef nominations: Brandon Jew (Mister Jiu’s), Mourad Lahlou (Mourad), Joshua Skenes (Angler) and Pim Techamuanvivit (Kin Khao).

Two distinctly different restaurants in San Francisco were named for their outstanding hospitality, which is another national honor: Swan Oyster Depot and Saison.

Meanwhile, Avery Ruzicka (Manresa Bread) was named Best Baker finalist and Juan Contreras (Atelier Crenn) was named Best Pastry Chef finalist. State Bird Provisions Executive Chef Gaby Maeda was named Rising Star Chef of the Year.

Gaby Maeda, executive chef at State Bird Provisions, brings a platter of garlic bread with burrata to the table during dinner service in San Francisco, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020.Stephen Lam / Special for The Chronicle

On the drinks side, San Francisco bar Trick Dog received nods for its outstanding bar program, while Cathy Corison of Corison Winery in St. Helena and Lance Winters of St. George Spirits in Alameda both received received nominations in the wine, beer and spirits category. professional category.

Finally, the foundation named a handful of winners in special categories, including Alice Waters, who won the Design Icon award for her work at Chez Panisse; Caleb Zigas, executive director of the nonprofit La Cocina, which won a leadership award; and Zero Foodprint, a climate-focused nonprofit in San Francisco, whose humanitarian award was previously announced in March.

Award nominees are usually announced at a series of celebratory ceremonies, but this year’s editions were postponed to March due to the coronavirus. In the end, the foundation opted to follow up the announcement with a video streamed live on Twitter. Winners will be announced Sept. 25 in Chicago, with more details to come on whether there will still be an in-person ceremony.

Claire Reichenbach, CEO of the James Beard Foundation, acknowledged the strangeness of announcing these awards when so many restaurants are fully closed, simply offering takeout or feeding frontline workers during the coronavirus. But “none of that changes how much our nominees accomplished last year,” she said.

Mourad Lahlou prepares couscous in the kitchen of Aziza, his new Moroccan restaurant in San Francisco, Calif., on Sunday, December 1, 2019.
Mourad Lahlou prepares couscous in the kitchen of Aziza, his new Moroccan restaurant in San Francisco, Calif., on Sunday, December 1, 2019.Nick Otto / Special for The Chronicle 2019

See the full list of nominees below:

2020 James Beard Foundation Outstanding Restaurant Design Award

75 seats or less


Heliotrope Architects for Rupee, Seattle

Spoonbill Watering Hole and Restaurant, Flywheel Co. and Vermillion Architects, LLC for Spoonbill Watering Hole and Restaurant, Lafayette, LA

76 seats and more

Hacin + Associates for shore leave, Boston

Ken Fulk Inc. for Swan & Bar Bevy, Miami

Klein Agency and ORA for auburn, Los Angeles

Outstanding design of alternative food and drink venues

Lori Chemla for Carissa’s the Bakery, East Hampton, NY

Stonehill Taylor, MCR/Morse Development and Aaron Sciandra for Connie, Queens, NY

Studio Dewberry and Workstead for Citrus Club, Charleston, SC

Design icon: In Panisse, Berkeley, California

2020 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Award

Best New Restaurant

Seafood and Oyster Vending Machine, Birmingham, AL

Demi, Minneapolis

Eem, Portland, OR

Fox and the Knife, Boston

Gado Gado, Portland, OR

Gianna, New Orleans

Kalaya, Philadelphia

Nightshade, Los Angeles

Pasjoli, Santa Monica, California

Verjus, San Francisco

Outstanding Baker

Graison Gill, Bellegarde Bakery, New Orleans

Zachary Golper, Well Done, NYC

Maura Kilpatrick, Sofra Bakery, Cambridge, MA

Lisa Ludwinski, Sister Pie, Detroit

Avery Ruzicka, Manresa Bread, Los Gatos, CA

Outstanding Barre Program

Anvil Bar and Shelter, Houston

Expat, Portland, OR

Kimball House, Decatur, Georgia

Lost Lake, Chicago

Dog Stuff, San Francisco

Outstanding Chef

David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA

Corey Lee, Benu, San Francisco

Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans

Missy Robbins, Lilia, New York

Ana Sortun, Oleana, Cambridge, MA

Marc Vetri, Vetri Cucina, Philadelphia

Exceptional hospitality

Brigtsen’s, New Orleans

Canlis, Seattle

Season, San Francisco

Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco

Zingerman’s Roadhouse, Ann Arbor, MI

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Lincoln CarsonBon TempsLos Angeles

Juan Contreras, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco

Margarita Manzke, Republic, Los Angeles

Diane Moua, spoon and stable, Minneapolis

Natasha Pickowicz, Flora Bar, New York

Miro Uskokovic, Gramercy Tavern, New York

Outstanding restaurant

FIG, Charleston, SC

Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder, CO

Jaleo, Washington, D.C.

Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix

Quince, San Francisco

Outstanding restorer

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

Bacchanal, New Orleans

Duck, Portland, OR


Miller Union, Atlanta

Night + Sahm Market, Venice, California

Spiaggia, Chicago

Outstanding producer of wines, beers or spirits

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

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, North Carolina

Paola Velez, friends/relatives, Washington, DC

Jon Yao, Kato, Los Angeles

Best Chef: California

Jeremy Fox, Birdie G’s, Santa Monica, CA

Brandon’s 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, Cafe Lula, 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 (DC, 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 Cafe, Minneapolis

Christina Nguyen, Hai Hai, Minneapolis

Best Chef: Montagne (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, Wyoming

Caroline Glover, Annette, Aurora, CO

Dana Rodriguez, Super Mega Good, Denver

Kelly Whitaker, Wolf Tailor, Denver

Best Chef: New York State

Sean Gray, Momofuku Ko, New York

Brooks Headley, Burger Superiority, NYC

Junghyun Park, Atomix, New York

Daniela Soto-Innes, ATLA, NYC

Alex Stupak, Empellon, NYC

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

Vien Dobui, CÔNG TỬ BỘT, Portland, ME

Tiffani Faison, Orfano, Boston

Ben Jackson, wife of Drifters, 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 and 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, Naughty, Portland, OR

Kristen Murray, MAURITIUS, 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, The Turkey and the Wolf, New Orleans

Isaac Toups, Toups’ Meatery, New Orleans

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

Katie Button, Cure, Asheville, North Carolina

Cassidee Dabney, The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN

Cheetie Kumar, Garland, Raleigh, North Carolina

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 mom, 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 cook: Texas

Kevin Fink, Emmer & Rye, Austin

Michael Fojtasek, Olamaie, Austin

Anita Jaisinghani, Pondicherry, Houston

Steve McHugh, recovered, San Antonio

Trong Nguyen, crawfish and noodles, Houston

2020 Leadership Award Winners

Phillip and Dorathy E. Barker, Co-Founders, Operation Spring Plant, Inc. (OSP)

Rosalinda Guillen, Executive Director, Community-to-Community (C2C) Development

Abiodun Henderson, Executive Director, The Come Up Project with Gangstas to Growers

Mark and Kerry Marhefka, Owners, Abundant Seafood

Caleb Zigas, Executive Director, La Cocina

Previously announced winners

Humanitarian of the Year: Zero food footprint

Achievement for life: Jessica B. Harris

American classics

Lassis InnLittle Rock, AR

Owners: Elihue Washington Jr. and Maria Washington

Zehnder’s of FrankenmuthFrankenmuth, MI

Owners: Al Zehnder, Susan Zehnder and Martha Zehnder Shelton

Puritan BackroomManchester, NH

Owners: Arthur Pappas, Chris Pappas and Eric Zink

Oriental MartSeattle

Owners: Mila Apostol and Joy Apostol

El Taco de MexicoDenver

Owner: Sasha Zanabria

Vera’s Backyard Bar-B-QueBrownsville, TX

Owner: Armando Vera