2016 James Beard Awards semifinalists

Here is the entire list : http://www.jamesbeard.org/blog/2016-jbf-restaurant-and-chef-award-semifinalists
Our local semifinalists are :

Best New Restaurant
Baroo , Los Angeles
Cassia, Santa Monica, CA

Outstanding Bar Program
The Varnish, Los Angele

Outstanding Chef
Suzanne Goin, Lucques, Los Angeles

Outstanding Pastry Chef
Margarita Manzke, République, Los Angeles
Dahlia Narvaez, Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles

Outstanding Restaurant
Providence, Los Angeles

Outstanding Service
Saam at the Bazaar by José Andrés, Beverly Hills, CA

Outstanding Wine Program
Spago, Beverly Hills, CA

Rising Star of the Year
Sarah Hymanson and Sara Kramer, Madcapra at Grand Central Market, Los Angeles

Best Chef: West
Josef Centeno, Orsa & Winston, Los Angeles
Michael Cimarusti, Providence, Los Angeles
Jeremy Fox, Rustic Canyon, Santa Monica, CA
Ludo Lefebvre, Trois Mec, Los Angeles
Travis Lett, Gjelina, Venice, CA
Ori Menashe, Bestia, Los Angeles
Carlos Salgado, Taco Maria, Costa Mesa, CA
Kris Yenbamroong, Night + Market Song, Los Angeles

Outside of the best new restaurants category, it’s like this list is from 2009

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I don’t get Goin consistently getting the Outstanding Chef title either.

So odd it makes me think nepotism or stake in restaurant/conflicting interests.


Definitely not the most exciting list. It makes me kinda sad that The Varnish is representing the LA cocktail scene, when it’s really moved on in the past few years. Also, slightly surprised that Ray Garcia didn’t get mentioned.

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Well said, totally agree. Seriously this list is so strange, especially about Chef Goin. So there’s only 1 “Outstanding Chef” but “Best Chef: West” has 8 contenders all stuck in that category? Just obtuse and confusing.

So I went back and looked at this “Outstanding Chef” category back to 2009 since 2009 was thrown out. Goin has been the only one nominated in the category every year except 2. One year she shared the nomination with Silverton.

2016- Goin
2015- Goin
2014- Goin + Silverton
2013- Goin
2012- Silverton
2011- Goin
2010- Goin
2009- Goin

It’s always presented by All Clad so maybe she just uses a lot of All Clad?

More an indication of how stale the James Beard list for LA is than anything else.

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So basically, they feel like Goin needs to be on the list, but she can’t be taken off until she wins? Silverton won, correct? So it was ok to take her off.

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The James Beard awards are generally awards that recognize the work of publicists. That and industry-insider back-patting.

I really like the explanation in this article by LA Mag food editor Lesley Bargar Suter: http://www.lamag.com/digestblog/why-suzanne-goin-is-up-for-a-james-beard-award-again/. She also links to an interesting article by Besha Rodell on the same topic too.


Thanks for linking to this article that clarifies the topic.

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Unfortunately for LA, our finer dining joints just don’t last that long.

That’s the problem. How many LA destination restaurants have been open for 10 years? How many have already won James Beards? How many deserves a nomination? Border Grill? Loteria Grill? Water Grill? Melisse? (Mori!! Pailin?)

Goin getting renominated all Susan Lucci like is the result of that criteria, and isn’t actually JBFA’s selection committee’s “fault”. When Trois Mec/Maude hits 10, it’s gonna be Ludo Ludo Ludo 2023-2028 Stone Stone Stone 2025-2030

OTOH, WHITE MEDIA (including the 2 food writers who both whitesplained the JBFA to us dummies) is surely at fault in nominating the shit show that is Baroo. #FreePeterLiang #oscarssowhite

(FWIW, JBFA has 14 Latino noms)

Naw. Because they’ll get it the first year nominated and then it’s back to Goin Goin Goin…

Are we doing the semifinalists for 2017? Couple a head scratchers if you ask me.

James Beard is kind of a head scratcher in general now. Not that everyone is undeserving, or there are widespread omissions, but it just seems more like a popularity rotation now without much rhyme or reason. Kind of like Motor Trend’s “Car of the Year” award. Not irrelevant (it’s important to business), but what does it really mean, anymore, or did it even really signify all that much to begin with?

James Beard award Semifinalists

Here’s a link if anyone wants a look

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