Chef Ashley Christensen's comfort food at Poole's Diner in North Carolina and the modern Israeli cuisine at Zahav in Philadelphia took top honors Monday night at the James Beard Awards, which many consider to be the Oscars of the culinary world.
Zahav's nod for outstanding restaurant comes two years after Zahav co-owner and Chef Michael Solomonov, who is from Israel but was raised in Pittsburgh, took home the outstanding chef award. Zahav's current menu features hummus with a daily chef's selected topping, duck and foie gras kebab and a concord grape sorbet with poached quince and peanut baklava.
This year's outstanding chef is Christensen, who's been nominated in the category before but has never won. Christensen opened Poole's Diner in Raleigh in 2007 and her biography on the restaurant's website describes it as an "evolving chalkboard menu of comfort-food classics, re-imagined through a philosophy of locally grown, seasonal ingredients and French-influenced technique."
Christensen's restaurants also include Beasley's Chicken and Honey, Chuck's, Fox Liquor Bar, and Death and Taxes, all in Raleigh.
The medals were handed out Monday evening at Chicago's Lyric Opera, where the Beard Awards moved in 2015 after being based in New York for more than 20 years. The awards honor those who follow in the footsteps of Beard, considered the dean of American cooking when he died in 1985.
The winner of this year's best new restaurant was Frenchette in New York and the outstanding baker was Greg Wade of Publican Quality Bread in Chicago. Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz of Chicago's Boka Restaurant Group, which includes Stephanie Izard's Girl and the Goat, won outstanding restaurateur. Boka Restaurant Group had been nominated in the category three times before Monday's win.
The rising star chef of the year award went to Kwame Onwuachi of Kith and Kin in Washington, D.C.
The James Beard Foundation's lifetime achievement award went to multiple James Beard Award winner Patrick O'Connell, who is a chef, author and owner of The Inn at Little Washington in Washington, Virginia.
Click here for the full list of James Beard Award winners.
We're thrilled to announce our 2019 Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists! Read on for the semifinalists in all categories, from Best New Restaurant to Outstanding Chef. We'll announce the final Restaurant and Chef Award nominees, as well as the nominees for our Media and Restaurant Design Awards, in Houston on Wednesday, March 27. The nominee announcement will begin at 10:00 A.M. ET and will be streamed live (check back soon for details). Nominees will also be announced in real time via our Twitter feed. The 2019 James Beard Awards Gala will take place on Monday, May 6, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The 2019 Leadership Awards will be held on Sunday, May 5 in Chicago, and the 2019 Media Awards will take place on Friday, April 26, at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City. Tickets to both the Awards Gala and the Media Awards will be on sale beginning March 27 at jamesbeard.org/awards. Best New Restaurant Adda Indian Canteen, NYC Andiario, West Chester, PA Angler, San Francisco Atomix, NYC Bardea Food & Drink, Wilmington, DE Bavel, Los Angeles Bywater American Bistro, New Orleans Canard, Portland, OR Celeste, Somerville, MA Chickadee, Boston Ellē, Washington, D.C. The Elysian Bar, New Orleans Folk, Nashville Frenchette, NYC Kyoten, Chicago Larder Delicatessen and Bakery, Cleveland Lineage, Wailea, HI Majordomo, Los Angeles Marrow, Detroit Nyum Bai, Oakland, CA Passerotto, Chicago Petra and the Beast, Dallas Popol Vuh, Minneapolis Q House, Denver Sawyer, Seattle Spoken English, Washington, D.C. The Stanley, Charlotte, NC Suerte, Austin The Surf Club Restaurant, Surfside, FL Vianda, San Juan, PR Outstanding Baker Umber Ahmad, Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery, NYC Kim Boyce, Bakeshop, Portland, OR Andy Clark, Moxie Bread Co., Louisville, CO Evrim Dogu and Evin Dogu, Sub Rosa Bakery, Richmond, VA Tova du Plessis, Essen Bakery, Philadelphia Zachary Golper, Bien Cuit, NYC Don Guerra, Barrio Bread, Tucson, AZ Naomi Harris, Madruga Bakery, Coral Gables, FL Stephanie Hart, Brown Sugar Bakery, Chicago Maura Kilpatrick, Sofra Bakery and Café, Cambridge, MA Lisa Ludwinski, Sister Pie, Detroit Greg Mindel, Neighbor Bakehouse, San Francisco Taylor Petrehn, 1900 Barker, Lawrence, KS Alison Pray, Standard Baking Co., Portland, ME Nathaniel Reid, Nathaniel Reid Bakery, Kirkwood, MO Avery Ruzicka, Manresa Bread, Los Gatos, CA Kit Schumann and Jesse Schumann, Sea Wolf Bakers, Seattle Debbie Swenerton, Black Bear Bread Co., Grayton Beach, FL Greg Wade, Publican Quality Bread, Chicago Chris Wilkins, Root Baking Co., Atlanta Outstanding Bar Program Anvil Bar & Refuge, Houston The Atomic Lounge, Birmingham, AL The Baldwin Bar, Woburn, MA Bar Agricole, San Francisco Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge, Milwaukee Clavel Mezcaleria, Baltimore Columbia Room, Washington, D.C. Dead Rabbit, NYC Expatriate, Portland, OR Kimball House, Decatur, GA La Factoría, San Juan, PR Leyenda, Brooklyn, NY Lost Lake, Chicago The Monarch Bar, Kansas City, MO Monk’s Café, Philadelphia No Anchor, Seattle Old Lightning, Marina Del Rey, CA Planter’s House, St. Louis Saint Leo, Oxford, MS Ticonderoga Club, Atlanta Outstanding Chef (Presented by All-Clad Metalcrafters) Ashley Christensen, Poole’s Diner, Raleigh, NC Renee Erickson, Bateau, Seattle Colby Garrelts, Bluestem, Kansas City, MO Sarah Grueneberg, Monteverde, Chicago Shiro Kashiba, Sushi Kashiba, Seattle David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA Christopher Kostow, The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, CA Corey Lee, Benu, San Francisco Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans Margot McCormack, Margot Café & Bar, Nashville Tory Miller, L’Etoile, Madison, WI Maricel Presilla, Cucharamama, Hoboken, NJ Missy Robbins, Lilia, Brooklyn, NY Chrysa Robertson, Rancho Pinot, Scottsdale, AZ Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon, Portland, OR Chris Shepherd, Georgia James, Houston Ana Sortun, Oleana, Cambridge, MA Vikram Sunderam, Rasika, Washington, D.C. Fabio Trabocchi, Fiola, Washington, D.C. Marc Vetri, Vetri Cucina, Philadelphia Outstanding Pastry Chef (Presented by Lavazza) Jeb Breakell, The Wolf’s Tailor, Denver Ashley Capps, Buxton Hall, Asheville, NC Juan Contreras, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco Kelly Fields, Willa Jean, New Orleans Meg Galus, Boka, Chicago Megan Garrelts, Rye, Leawood, KS Zoe Kanan, Simon & the Whale, NYC Michelle Karr-Ueoka, MW Restaurant, Honolulu Margarita Manzke, République, Los Angeles James Matty, Suraya, Philadelphia Junko Mine, Cafe Juanita, Kirkland, WA Diane Moua, Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis Pichet Ong, Brothers and Sisters, Washington, D.C. Natasha Pickowicz, Flora Bar, NYC Michelle Polzine, 20th Century Café, San Francisco Rabii Saber, Four Seasons Resort, Orlando, FL Ricardo “Ricchi” Sanchez, Bullion, Dallas Laura Sawicki, Launderette, Austin Whang Suh, Hen & Heifer, Guilford, CT Cynthia Wong, Life Raft Treats, Charleston, SC Outstanding Restaurant (Presented by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water) Balthazar, NYC Bolete, Bethlehem, PA Cafe Juanita, Kirkland, WA El Charro Café, Tucson, AZ FIG, Charleston, SC Fore Street, Portland, ME Jaleo, Washington, D.C. Komi, Washington, D.C. Marché, Eugene, OR Nopa, San Francisco Norman’s, Orlando, FL North Pond, Chicago O Ya, Boston The Original Ninfa's on Navigation, Houston Park’s BBQ, Los Angeles Quince, San Francisco Restaurant Alma, Minneapolis Sagami, Collingswood, NJ SriPraPhai, NYC Zahav, Philadelphia Outstanding Restaurateur (Presented by Magellan Corporation) Hugh Acheson, Atlanta (Empire State South, Five & Ten, The National, and others) Paul Bartolotta and Joe Bartolotta, The Bartolotta Restaurants, Milwaukee (Ristorante Bartolotta, Harbor House, Lake Park Bistro, and others) JoAnn Clevenger, Upperline, New Orleans Richard DeShantz and Tolga Sevdik, Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group, Pittsburgh (Poulet Bleu, Fish nor Fowl, Butcher and the Rye, and others) Benjamin Goldberg and Max Goldberg, Strategic Hospitality, Nashville (The Catbird Seat, The Patterson House, Henrietta Red, and others) Ruth Gresser, Pizzeria Paradiso, Washington, D.C. (Pizzeria Paradiso, Birreria Paradiso) Martha Hoover, Patachou Inc., Indianapolis (Café Patachou, Petite Chou, Public Greens, and others) Rob Katz and Kevin Boehm, Boka Restaurant Group, Chicago (Boka, Girl & the Goat, Momotaro, and others) Ed Kenney, Honolulu (Town, Mud Hen Water, Mahina & Sun’s, and others) Brenda Langton and Timothy Kane, Spoonriver, Minneapolis Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz, San Francisco (Mission Chinese Food, The Perennial, Commonwealth) Akkapong (Earl) Ninsom, Portland, OR (Langbaan, Hat Yai, PaaDee, and others) Ken Oringer, Boston (Little Donkey, Toro, Uni, and others) Steve Palmer, The Indigo Road, Charleston, SC (The Macintosh, Oak Steakhouse, Indaco, and others) Julie Petrakis and James Petrakis, Swine Family Restaurant Group, Orlando, FL (The Ravenous Pig, Cask & Larder, The Polite Pig, and others) Alex Raij and Eder Montero, NYC (La Vara, Txikito, Saint Julivert Fisherie, and others) Ethan Stowell, Ethan Stowell Restaurants, Seattle (Ballard Pizza Co., Bramling Cross, Cortina, and others) Tracy Vaught, H Town Restaurant Group, Houston (Hugo’s, Caracol, Xochi, and others) Jason Wang, Xi'an Famous Foods, NYC Ellen Yin, High Street Hospitality Group, Philadelphia (Fork, High Street on Market, High Street on Hudson) Outstanding Service Back Bay Grill, Portland, ME Birrieria Zaragoza, Chicago Brigtsen’s, New Orleans Canlis, Seattle Chef Vola’s, Atlantic City, NJ Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder, CO The French Room, Dallas Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse, Chicago Hugo’s, Houston Kai Restaurant, Chandler, AZ Kimball House, Decatur, GA Mama J’s, Richmond, VA Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier, Washington, D.C. n/naka, Los Angeles Peking Gourmet Inn, Falls Church, VA Saison, San Francisco Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco Tony’s, Houston Victoria & Albert’s, Orlando, FL Zingerman’s Roadhouse, Ann Arbor, MI Outstanding Wine Program (Presented by Robert Mondavi Winery) Bacchanal, New Orleans The Bachelor Farmer, Minneapolis Bar Marco, Pittsburgh Benu, San Francisco The Butcher Shop, Boston Cote, NYC element 47 at the Little Nell, Aspen, CO Great China, Berkeley, CA Davenport, Portland, OR haley.henry, Boston Income Tax, Chicago L’Oursin, Seattle Lucky Palace, Bossier City, LA Miller Union, Atlanta Night + Market, Los Angeles Ops, Brooklyn, NY Pappas Bros. Steakhouse at the Galleria, Houston Spiaggia, Chicago Stems & Skins, North Charleston, SC Tail Up Goat, Washington, D.C. Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Producer An Bui, Mekong and The Answer Brewpub, Richmond, VA Cathy Corison, Corison Winery, St. Helena, CA Rutger de Vink, RdV Vineyards, Delaplane, VA Dave Green, Skagit Valley Malting, Burlington, WA Deirdre Heekin, La Garagista, Bethel, VT Nancy Irelan, Red Tail Ridge Winery, Penn Yan, NY Drew Kulsveen, Willett Distillery, Bardstown, KY Todd Leopold and Scott Leopold, Leopold Bros., Denver Sean Lilly Wilson, Fullsteam Brewery, Durham, NC Ann Marshall and Scott Blackwell, High Wire Distilling Co., Charleston, SC Steve Matthiasson, Matthiasson Wines, Napa, CA Kim McPherson, McPherson Cellars, Lubbock, TX Meredith Meyer Grelli, Wigle Whiskey, Pittsburgh Yoshihiro Sako, Den Sake Brewery, Oakland, CA Jordan Salcito, Ramona, NYC Mike Sauer, Red Willow Vineyard, Wapato, WA Jeffrey Stuffings, Jester King Brewery, Austin Rob Tod, Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, ME Mhairi Voelsgen, broVo Spirits, Woodinville, WA Lance Winters, St. George Spirits, Alameda, CA Rising Star Chef of the Year (Presented by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water) Rachel Bennett, The Library, St. Petersburg, FL Jay Blackinton, Aelder/Hogstone’s Wood Oven, Orcas Island, WA Nick Bognar, Nippon Tei, St. Louis Ana Castro, Coquette, New Orleans Valerie Chang and Nando Chang, Itamae, Miami Calvin Davis, Freshwater, Kansas City, MO Alisha Elenz, MFK, Chicago Evan Gaudreau, Renzo, Charleston, SC Rikki Giambruno, Hyacinth, St. Paul, MN Becca Hegarty, Bitter Ends Luncheonette, Pittsburgh Alexander Hong, Sorrel, San Francisco Jesse Ito, Royal Izakaya, Philadelphia Irene Li, Mei Mei, Boston Giselle Miller, Menton, Boston Shota Nakajima, Adana, Seattle Kwame Onwuachi, Kith and Kin, Washington, D.C. Ian Redshaw, Lampo Neapolitan Pizzeria, Charlottesville, VA Jonathan “Jonny” Rhodes, Restaurant Indigo, Houston Samantha Sanz, Talavera at the Four Seasons, Scottsdale, AZ Lena Sareini, Selden Standard, Detroit Cassie Shortino, Tratto, Phoenix Nolan Wynn, Banshee, Atlanta Jonathan Yao, Kato, Los Angeles Best Chef: Great Lakes Thai Dang and Danielle Dang, HaiSous Vietnamese Kitchen, Chicago Diana Dávila, Mi Tocaya Antojería, Chicago Paul Fehribach, Big Jones, Chicago Norberto Garita, El Barzon, Detroit Jason Hammel, Lula Café, Chicago Brian Jupiter, Frontier, Chicago Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark, Parachute, Chicago Anthony Lombardo, SheWolf, Detroit Abbi Merriss, Bluebeard, Indianapolis Ethan Pikas, Cellar Door Provisions, Chicago David Posey and Anna Posey, Elske, Chicago Iliana Regan, Kitsune, Chicago James Rigato, Mabel Gray, Hazel Park, MI Jose Salazar, Mita’s, Cincinnati Noah Sandoval, Oriole, Chicago Steven Oakley, Oakleys Bistro, Indianapolis Genevieve Vang, Bangkok 96, Dearborn, MI Jill Vedaa, Salt, Lakewood, OH Kate Williams, Lady of the House, Detroit Lee Wolen, Boka, Chicago Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic Joey Baldino, Zeppoli, Collingswood, NJ Sandeep “Sunny” Baweja, Lehja, Richmond, VA Jamilka Borges, The Independent Brewing Company, Pittsburgh Amy Brandwein, Centrolina, Washington, D.C. Erik Bruner-Yang, Brothers and Sisters, Washington, D.C. Kristin Butterworth, Lautrec, Farmington, PA Tom Cunanan, Bad Saint, Washington, D.C. Nicholas Elmi, Laurel, Philadelphia Randy Forrester, Osteria Radici, Allentown, NJ Jerome Grant, Sweet Home Café, Washington, D.C. Haidar Karoum, Chloë, Washington, D.C. Matthew Kern, Heirloom, Lewes, DE Rich Landau, Vedge, Philadelphia Cristina Martinez, South Philly Barbacoa, Philadelphia Dan Richer, Razza Pizza Artigianale, Jersey City, NJ Jon Sybert, Tail Up Goat, Washington, D.C. Kevin Tien, Himitsu, Washington, D.C. Cindy Wolf, Charleston, Baltimore Nobu Yamazaki, Sushi Taro, Washington, D.C. Wei Zhu, Chengdu Gourmet, Pittsburgh Best Chef: Midwest Dane Baldwin, The Diplomat, Milwaukee Karen Bell, Bavette La Boucherie, Milwaukee Thomas Boemer, In Bloom, St. Paul, MN Steven Brown, Tilia, Minneapolis Michael Corvino, Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room, Kansas City, MO Daniel del Prado, Martina, Minneapolis Linda Duerr, The Restaurant at 1900, Mission Woods, KS Michael Gallina, Vicia, St. Louis Nicholas Goellner, The Antler Room, Kansas City, MO Jonny Hunter, Forequarter, Madison, WI Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite, EsterEv, Milwaukee Ann Kim, Young Joni, Minneapolis Lona Luo, Lona’s Lil Eats, St. Louis Jamie Malone, Grand Café, Minneapolis Jesse Mendica, Olive + Oak, Webster Groves, MO Tim Nicholson, The Boiler Room, Omaha, NE Christina Nguyen, Hai Hai, Minneapolis Karyn Tomlinson, Corner Table, Minneapolis Joe Tripp, Harbinger, Des Moines, IA Ny Vongsaly, Billie-Jean, Clayton, MO Best Chef: New York City Cosme Aguilar, Casa Enrique Emma Bengtsson, Aquavit Rawia Bishara, Tanoreen, Brooklyn, NY Amanda Cohen, Dirt Candy Billy Durney, Hometown Bar-B-Que, Brooklyn, NY Sean Gray, Momofuku Ko Brooks Headley, Superiority Burger Joseph “JJ” Johnson, Henry at Life Hotel Sohui Kim, Insa, Brooklyn, NY Josh Ku and Trigg Brown, Win Son, Brooklyn, NY Angie Mar, Beatrice Inn Kyo Pang, Kopitiam Erik Ramirez, Llama Inn, Brooklyn, NY Ann Redding and Matt Danzer, Uncle Boons Daniela Soto-Innes, Atla Jeremiah Stone and Fabián von Hauske, Wildair Alex Stupak, Empellón Midtown Scott Tacinelli and Angie Rito, Don Angie Jody Williams and Rita Sodi, Via Carota Helen You, Dumpling Galaxy, Queens, NY Best Chef: Northeast Unmi Abkin, Coco & The Cellar Bar, Easthampton, MA Tyler Anderson, Millwright's, Simsbury, CT Hannah Black and Carla Perez-Gallardo, Lil' Deb's Oasis, Hudson, NY Cara Chigazola-Tobin, Honey Road, Burlington, VT Chad Conley and Greg Mitchell, Palace Diner, Biddeford, ME Krista Kern Desjarlais, The Purple House, North Yarmouth, ME Vien Dobui, Cong Tu Bot, Portland, ME Carl Dooley, The Table at Season to Taste, Cambridge, MA Tiffani Faison, Tiger Mama, Boston Erin French, The Lost Kitchen, Freedom, ME Victor Parra Gonzalez, Las Puertas, Buffalo, NY Seizi Imura, Cafe Sushi, Cambridge, MA Evan Mallett, Black Trumpet, Portsmouth, NH James Mark, North, Providence Tony Messina, Uni, Boston Cassie Piuma, Sarma, Somerville, MA Keiko Suzuki Steinberger, Suzuki's Sushi Bar, Rockland, ME Benjamin Sukle, Oberlin, Providence, RI Peter Ungár, Tasting Counter, Somerville, MA David Vargas, Vida Cantina, Portsmouth, NH Best Chef: Northwest Jose Chesa, Ataula, Portland, OR Peter Cho, Han Oak, Portland, OR Laura Cole, 229 Parks Restaurant & Tavern, Denali National Park & Preserve, AK Logan Cox, Homer, Seattle Alejandro Cruz, Novo Modern Latin Table, Eugene, OR Eric Donnelly, RockCreek, Seattle Gregory Gourdet, Departure, Portland, OR Eric Johnson, Stateside, Seattle Taichi Kitamura, Sushi Kappo Tamura, Seattle Ha (Christina) Luu and Peter Vuong, Ha VL, Portland, OR Katy Millard, Coquine, Portland, OR Kristen Murray, Måurice, Portland, OR Colin Patterson, Mana Restaurant, Leavenworth, WA Ryan Roadhouse, Nodoguro, Portland, OR Beau Schooler, In Bocca Al Lupo, Juneau, AK Mutsuko Soma, Kamonegi, Seattle Dave Wells, The Dining Room at Chico Hot Springs, Pray, MT Brady Williams, Canlis, Seattle Justin Woodward, Castagna, Portland, OR Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule, Seattle Best Chef: South Lindsay Autry, The Regional Kitchen & Public House, West Palm Beach, FL David Bancroft, Acre, Auburn, AL Vishwesh Bhatt, Snackbar, Oxford, MS Bill Briand, Fisher’s Upstairs at Orange Beach Marina, Orange Beach, AL Clay Conley, Buccan, Palm Beach, FL Alex Eaton, The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen, Jackson, MS Jose Enrique, Jose Enrique, San Juan, PR Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus, Coquette, New Orleans Maria Mercedes Grubb, Gallo Negro, San Juan, PR Michael Gulotta, Maypop, New Orleans Mason Hereford, Turkey and the Wolf, New Orleans Timothy Hontzas, Johnny’s Restaurant, Homewood, AL Brad Kilgore, Alter, Miami Niven Patel, Ghee Indian Kitchen, Miami Matthew McClure, The Hive, Bentonville, AR Alex Perry, Vestige, Ocean Springs, MS Jeannie Pierola, Edison: Food+Drink Lab, Tampa, FL Slade Rushing, Brennan’s, New Orleans Melissa Donahue-Talmage, Sweet Melissa’s Café, Sanibel, FL Isaac Toups, Toups’ Meatery, New Orleans Best Chef: Southeast Mashama Bailey, The Grey, Savannah, GA Rebecca Barron, St. John’s Restaurant, Chattanooga, TN Jon Buck, Husk Greenville, Greenville, SC Katie Button, Cúrate, Asheville, NC Gregory Collier, Loft & Cellar, Charlotte, NC Cassidee Dabney, The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN Steven Devereaux Greene, Herons, Cary, NC Oscar Diaz, The Cortez, Raleigh, NC Bryan Furman, B’s Cracklin’ BBQ, Atlanta Josh Habiger, Bastion, Nashville Meherwan Irani, Chai Pani, Asheville, NC Kevin Johnson, The Grocery, Charleston, SC Joe Kindred, Kindred, Davidson, NC Cheetie Kumar, Garland, Raleigh, NC Jacques Larson, The Obstinate Daughter, Sullivan’s Island, SC Dean Neff, PinPoint, Wilmington, NC Ryan Smith, Staplehouse, Atlanta Brian So, Spring, Marietta, GA Julia Sullivan, Henrietta Red, Nashville Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Memphis Best Chef: Southwest Charleen Badman, FnB, Scottsdale, AZ Kevin Binkley, Binkley’s Restaurant, Phoenix Jen Castle and Blake Spalding, Hell's Backbone Grill, Boulder, UT Bruno Davaillon, Bullion, Dallas Iliana de la Vega, El Naranjo, Austin Kevin Fink, Emmer & Rye, Austin Michael Fojtasek, Olamaie, Austin Bryce Gilmore, Barley Swine, Austin Caroline Glover, Annette, Aurora, CO Nadia Holguin, Roland’s Cafe Market Bar, Phoenix Ronnie Killen, Killen’s Steakhouse, Pearland, TX Kaiser Lashkari, Himalaya, Houston Steve McHugh, Cured, San Antonio Trong Nguyen, Crawfish & Noodles, Houston Jonathan Perno, Campo at Los Poblanos, Albuquerque, NM Maribel Rivero, Yuyo, Austin Regino Rojas, Purépecha Room by Revolver Taco Lounge, Dallas Silvana Salcido Esparza, Barrio Café Gran Reserva, Phoenix David Uygur, Lucia, Dallas Kelly Whitaker, The Wolf’s Tailor, Denver Best Chef: West Genet Agonafer, Meals by Genet, Los Angeles Reem Assil, Reem’s California, Oakland, CA Gabriela Cámara, Cala, San Francisco Michael Cimarusti, Providence, Los Angeles Jeremy Fox, Rustic Canyon, Santa Monica, CA Chris Kajioka and Anthony Rush, Senia, Honolulu Matthew Kammerer, Harbor House Inn, Elk, CA Jessica Koslow, Sqirl, Los Angeles Brandon Rodgers and Ian Scaramuzza, In Situ, San Francisco Travis Lett, Gjelina, Venice, CA Niki Nakayama, n/naka, Los Angeles Dominica Rice-Cisneros, Cosecha Café, Oakland, CA Carlos Salgado, Taco María, Costa Mesa, CA Joshua Skenes, Saison, San Francisco Sheridan Su, Flock and Fowl, Las Vegas James Syhabout, Commis, Oakland, CA Karen Taylor, El Molino Central, Sonoma, CA Pim Techamuanvivit, Kin Khao, San Francisco Kris Yenbamroong, Night + Market, Los Angeles Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins, El Jardín, San Diego