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 starters – 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 the 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.
Cora Cora, West Hartford, CT
Veselka, New York, NY
Via Carota, New York, NY
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
Department of Culture, New York, NY
KRU, Brooklyn, NY
Stirring House, Pine Plains, NY
Telly Justice, HAGS, New York, NY
Charlie Mitchell, Clover Hill, New York, NY
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
Dante, New York, NY
Harlem Hops, New York, NY
Sims and Kirsten Harlow Foster, Foster Supply Hospitality (The DeBruce, Arnold House Tavern, and Kenoza Hall), NY
Lil’ Deb’s Oasis, Hudson, NY
Melba’s, New York, NY
Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program
COTE, New York, NY
Waxlight Bar in Vin, Buffalo, NY
Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
Philip Manganaro, Park Place Café & 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 Ramírez, 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 Goncalves, Kanopi, White Plains, NY
Sol Han, LittleMad, 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, CiSiamo, New York, NY
Sohail Zandi, Brushland Eating House, Bovina, NY
Best Chef: Northeast
Christian Hunter, Community Table, Washington, CT