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Restaurant bucket list: Here are the 2018 James Beard Awards finalists

Balthazar
Photograph: Andrew Fladeboe Balthazar in New York City

As if our food-related bucket list wasn't long enough: The 2018 James Beard Awards—which highlight the very best in cooking, restaurant design, food journalism and cookbook authorship—are taking place in Chicago on May 7 and the list of finalists was just released.

For the first time ever, following the #MeToo movement that has taken over entire industries across the country, the Foundation behind the awards asked its voting committee to take behavior into consideration when making suggestions. The judges received the following directive: "If you have concerns about a chef, restaurateur or beverage professional, or about the culture around a restaurant or restaurant group, leave the person or business out of your nominations."

Below, we highlight the nominees in the Restaurant and Chef Awards categories. Want to scroll through the entire list, including the design, book and journalism categories? Check it out right here.

Best New Restaurant:
A restaurant opened in the calendar year before the award will be given that already displays excellence in food, beverage, and service, and that is likely to make a significant impact in years to come.

The Charter Oak, St. Helena, CA
Empellón Midtown, NYC
Felix Trattoria, Venice, CA
JuneBaby, Seattle
Kismet, Los Angeles

Outstanding Baker:
A chef or baker who prepares breads, pastries or desserts in a retail bakery, and who serves as a national standard-bearer of excellence. Must have been a baker or pastry chef for at least five years.

Dianna Daoheung, Black Seed Bagels, NYC
Zachary Golper, Bien Cuit, Brooklyn, NY
Maura Kilpatrick, Sofra Bakery and Café, Cambridge, MA
Belinda Leong and Michel Suas, B. Patisserie, San Francisco
Alison Pray, Standard Baking Co., Portland, ME
Greg Wade, Publican Quality Bread, Chicago

Outstanding Bar Program:
A restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence in cocktail, spirits, and/or beer service.

Anvil Bar & Refuge, Houston
Bar Agricole, San Francisco
Clyde Common, Portland, OR
Cure, New Orleans
Kimball House, Decatur, GA
Trick Dog, San Francisco

Outstanding Chef:
A working chef in America whose career has set national industry standards and who has served as an inspiration to other food professionals. Must have been working as a chef for the past five years.

Ashley Christensen, Poole’s Diner, Raleigh, NC
Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune, NYC
David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA
Christopher Kostow, The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, CA
Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans

Outstanding Pastry Chef:
A chef or baker who prepares desserts, pastries, or breads in a restaurant and who serves as a national standard bearer of excellence. Must have been working as a pastry chef or baker for the past five years.

Kelly Fields, Willa Jean, New Orleans
Meg Galus, Boka, Chicago
Margarita Manzke, République, Los Angeles
Dolester Miles, Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, AL
Diane Yang, Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis

Outstanding Restaurant:
A restaurant in the United States that serves as a national standard bearer of consistent quality and excellence in food, atmosphere, and service. Must have been in operation 10 or more consecutive years.

Balthazar, NYC
Canlis, Seattle
Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder, CO
Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, AL
Quince, San Francisco

Outstanding Restaurateur:
A working restaurateur who sets high national standards in restaurant operations and entrepreneurship. Must have been in the restaurant business for at least 10 years. Must not have been nominated for a James Beard Foundation chef award in the past five years.

Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz, Boka Restaurant Group (Boka, GT Fish & Oyster; Girl & the Goat and others), Chicago
JoAnn Clevenger, Upperline, New Orleans
Ken Oringer (Uni; Little Donkey; Toro; and others), Boston
Caroline Styne, The Lucques Group (Lucques; a.o.c.; Tavern and others), Los Angeles
Ellen Yin, High Street Hospitality Group (Fork; High Street on Market; High Street on Hudson and others), Philadelphia

Outstanding Service:
A restaurant in operation five or more years that demonstrates high standards of hospitality and service.

Boka, Chicago
Saison, San Francisco
Zahav, Philadelphia
Zingerman’s Delicatessen, Ann Arbor, MI
Zuni Café, San Francisco

Outstanding Wine Program:
A restaurant in operation five or more years that serves as a national standard bearer for excellence in wine service through a well-presented wine list, knowledgeable staff, and efforts to educate customers about wine.

a.o.c., Los Angeles
Bacchanal, New Orleans
Benu, San Francisco
FIG, Charleston, SC
The Little Nell, Aspen, CO

Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional:
A beer, wine, or spirits professional who has had a significant national impact on the restaurant industry.

Cathy Corison (Corison Winery, St. Helena, CA)
Diane Flynt (Foggy Ridge Cider, Dugspur, VA)
Miljenko Grgich (Grgich Hills Estate, Rutherford, CA)
Steve Matthiasson (Matthiasson Wines, Napa, CA)
Lance Winters (St. George Spirits, Alameda, CA)

Rising Star Chef of the Year:
A chef age 30 or younger who displays an impressive talent and who is likely to make a significant impact on the industry in years to come.

Camille Cogswell (Zahav, Philadelphia)
Clare de Boer (King, NYC)
Sarah Rinkavage (Marisol, Chicago)
Miles Thompson (Michael’s, Santa Monica, CA)
Kevin Tien, Himitsu (Washington, D.C.)

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

Andrew Brochu (Roister, Chicago)
Abraham Conlon (Fat Rice, Chicago)
Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark (Parachute, Chicago)
David Posey and Anna Posey (Elske, Chicago)
Lee Wolen (Boka, Chicago)

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (DC, DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)

Amy Brandwein (Centrolina, Washington, D.C.)
Tom Cunanan (Bad Saint, Washington, D.C.)
Rich Landau (Vedge, Philadelphia)
Jeremiah Langhorne (The Dabney, Washington, D.C.)
Cindy Wolf (Charleston, Baltimore)

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

Karen Bell (Bavette La Boucherie, Milwaukee)
Steven Brown (Tilia, Minneapolis)
Justin Carlisle (Ardent, Milwaukee)
Gavin Kaysen (Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis)
Ann Kim (Young Joni, Minneapolis)

Best Chef: New York City

Amanda Cohen (Dirt Candy)
Ignacio Mattos (Estela)
Missy Robbins (Lilia)
Alex Stupak (Empellón Midtown)
Jody Williams (Buvette Gastrothèque)

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

Karen Akunowicz (Myers + Chang, Boston)
Tiffani Faison (Tiger Mama, Boston)
Tony Messina (Uni, Boston)
Cassie Piuma (Sarma, Somerville, MA)
Benjamin Sukle (Oberlin, Providence)

Best Chef: Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY)

Edouardo Jordan (Salare, Seattle)
Katy Millard (Coquine, Portland, OR)
Bonnie Morales (Kachka, Portland, OR)
Justin Woodward (Castagna, Portland, OR)
Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi (Joule, Seattle)

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

Vishwesh Bhatt (Snackbar, Oxford, MS)
Nina Compton (Compère Lapin, New Orleans)
Jose Enrique (Jose Enrique, San Juan, PR)
Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus (Coquette, New Orleans)
Brad Kilgore (Alter, Miami)
Slade Rushing (Brennan’s, New Orleans)

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

Mashama Bailey (The Grey, Savannah, GA)
Katie Button (Nightbell, Asheville, NC)
Cassidee Dabney (The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN)
Rodney Scott (Rodney Scott’s BBQ, Charleston, SC)
Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman (Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Memphis)

Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, CO, NM, OK, TX, UT)

Michael Fojtasek (Olamaie, Austin)
Bryce Gilmore (Barley Swine, Austin)
Steve McHugh (Cured, San Antonio)
Martín Rios (Restaurant Martín, Santa Fe, NM)
Alex Seidel (Mercantile Dining & Provision, Denver)

Best Chef: West (CA, HI, NV)

Michael Cimarusti (Providence, Los Angeles)
Dominique Crenn (Atelier Crenn, San Francisco)
Jeremy Fox (Rustic Canyon, Santa Monica, CA)
Jessica Koslow (Sqirl, Los Angeles)
Travis Lett (Gjelina, Venice, CA)

2018 James Beard Foundation America’s Classics:

Sun Wah
Chicago, IL
Owners: Kelly Cheng, Laura Cheng and Michael Cheng

Galleria Umberto
Boston, MA
Owners: Paul Deuterio and Ralph Deuterio

Los Hernandez
Union Gap, WA
Owner: Felipe Hernandez

El Guero Canelo
Tucson, AZ
Owner: Daniel Contreras

Dong Phuong Bakery
New Orleans, LA
Owner: Linh Tran Garza

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