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Here Are the New England James Beard Foundation Nominees for 2018

The winners will be announced on May 7

A silver James Beard medal is isolated on a black background
James Beard award
James Beard Foundation [Official Photo]

Last month, the James Beard Foundation revealed its long list of semifinalists for its 2018 restaurant and chef awards, including plenty of local names: Garrett Harker (Eastern Standard, Island Creek Oyster Bar, and more), Irene Li (Mei Mei), JC Tetreault and Esther Tetreault (Trillium Brewing Company), Maura Kilpatrick (Sofra Bakery and Café), and many more. Spanning 21 categories, the list pulled from over 20,000 online entries, narrowed down by a committee based on eligibility and regional representation.

Today, the foundation announced the further pared down list of nominees, narrowed down by an independent volunteer judging panel that will also choose the final winners, who will be honored on May 7 in Chicago.

Here are the New England nominees for 2018 James Beard Foundation restaurant and chef awards:

Outstanding Restaurateur Nominee

  • Ken Oringer (Uni, Little Donkey, Toro, and others, Boston and beyond)

Oringer was also a nominee in this category last year.

Best Chef: Northeast Nominees

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

Piuma, Akunowicz, and Sukle were also nominees in this category last year.

Outstanding Baker Nominees

  • Alison Pray (Standard Baking Co., Portland, Maine)
  • Maura Kilpatrick (Sofra Bakery and Café, Cambridge)

Kilpatrick was also a nominee last year, but in the Outstanding Pastry Chef category.

Earlier this year, the James Beard Foundation announced the five recipients of the 2018 America’s Classics awards, including Sicilian pizza mainstay Galleria Umberto in Boston’s North End. Plus, the foundation will be inducting Jody Adams (Trade, Porto, Saloniki) into its Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America this year.

The foundation also gives out media awards to food journalists, cookbook authors, and more; those winners will be announced at a separate event in New York on April 27, but the nominees were also announced today. Here are the local ones:

Book Awards Nominees: American

  • Homegrown: Cooking from My New England Roots by Matt Jennings (of Townsman in Boston); Artisan Books
  • The Lost Kitchen by Erin French (of the Lost Kitchen in Maine); Clarkson Potter

Book Awards Nominee: General

  • Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street: The New Home Cooking by Christopher Kimball; Little, Brown and Company

Television Program (on Location) Nominee

  • The Food Flirts With the Brass Sisters — hosts: Marilyn Brass and Sheila Brass

Columns Nominee

  • What She’s Having: “Nostalgia in a Bowl”; “I Was a Chick-fil-A Virgin”; and “A Time Capsule, with Chicken Pot Pies” by Devra First for The Boston Globe

Home Cooking Nominee

  • “Nuts About Nuts” by Molly McDonough for Culture: The Word on Cheese

Here’s the full list of 2018 restaurant, chef, and media nominees.

James Beard Foundation [Official Site]