James Beard Award

These New England Chefs and Restaurants Are 2020 James Beard Semifinalists

Chefs and restaurants, as well as wine and beer programs, were nominated in 12 categories for the prestigious awards

Fox and the Knife
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Some 40 New England chefs, restaurants and wine and beer programs were nominated this week as semifinalists for the prestigious James Beard Awards.

Chef Karen Akunowicz' Fox & the Knife in Boston and Tanám in Somerville, Massachusetts were nominated for best restaurant. Fox & the Knife is not new to praise, having been celebrated for its Italian food since opening in 2019. Tanám has made a name for itself in Bow Market, offering Filipino American cuisine and drinks.

Maura Kilpatrick of Sofra Bakery in Cambridge, Massachusetts was nominated in the best baker category; as was Briana Holt of Tandem Coffee + Bakery in Portland. The former offers the sweet and savory tastes of Greece, Lebanon and Turkey and has been nominated for the award since 2008. Tandem Coffee + Bakery is a well-known hot spot.

The Baldwin Bar in Woburn and Novare Res Bier Café in Portland were nominated in the outstanding Bar Program category. In the Outstanding Chef category, Ana Sortun of Oleana in Cambridge; and Melissa Kelly of Primo in Rockland, Maine are semifinalists.

The other semifinalists from New England include:

Outstanding Hospitality:

  • Black Trumpet Bistro, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
  • Mistral, Boston, Massachusetts.

Outstanding Pastry Chef:

  • Renae Connolly of Benedetto, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Outstanding Restaurant:

  • Fore Street, Portland, Massachusetts.
  • Neptune Oyster, Boston, Massachusetts.

Outstanding Restaurateur:

  • Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer of JK Food Group, Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Jay McSharry of Jumpin’ Jay’s Fish Café, Vida Cantina, Moxy and others, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Outstanding Wine Program:

  • Grill 23, Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Haley.Henry, Boston, Massachusetts.

Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Wine Producers:

  • Deirdre Heekin of La Garagista Farm + Winery, Barnard, Vermont.

Rising Star Chef of The Year:

  • Mariana Gonzalez-Trasvina of Bar 'Cino, Newport, Rhode Island.
  • Irene Li of Mei Mei, Boston, Massachusetts.

Best Chef: Northeast

  • Unmi Abkin of Coco & the Cellar Bar, Easthampton, Massachusetts.
  • Tyler Anderson of Millwright's Restaurant, Simsbury, Connecticut.
  • Tracy Chang of Pagu, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • Cara Chigazola Tobin of Honey Road, Burlington, Vermont.
  • Vien Dobui, CÔNG TỬ BỘT, Portland, Maine.
  • Carl Dooley of The Table at Season to Taste, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • Tiffani Faison of Orfano, Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Devin Finigan of Aragosta at Goose Cove, Deer Isle, Maine.
  • Erin French of The Lost Kitchen, Freedom, Maine.
  • Mayumi Hattori of The Club Car, Nantucket, Massachusetts.
  • Seizi Imura of Cafe Sushi, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • Ben Jackson of Drifters Wife, Portland, Maine.
  • Krista Kern Desjarlais of The Purple House, North Yarmouth, Maine.
  • James Mark of Big King, Providence, Rhode Island.
  • Greg Mitchell and Chad Conley of Palace Diner, Biddeford, Maine.
  • Ravin Nakjaroen of Long Grain, Camden, Maine.
  • Cassie Piuma, Sarma of Somerville, Massachusetts.
  • David Vargas of Vida Cantina, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
  • Derek Wagner of Nicks on Broadway, Providence, Rhode Island.
  • Douglass Williams of MIDA, Boston, Massachusetts.
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