The James Beard Foundation announced its 2022 award finalists Wednesday, March 16, via Twitter. Of more than 30 New England chefs and restaurants that were named semifinalists, eight remain in the running for awards and one was announced as a winner of a leadership award.
Winners will be revealed on Monday, June 13, 2022, at a Chicago gala — marking the first time the awards program has been held since 2019.
The foundation used the past couple of years to conduct internal and external reviews of its policies and procedures, aiming to make the awards process more accessible, equitable, and transparent going forward.
Here are the finalists from New England for 2022 James Beard Foundation restaurant and chef awards.
Best New Restaurant
- Leeward, Portland, Maine
- Atsuko Fujimoto, Norimoto Bakery, Portland, Maine
Outstanding Wine Program
- Rebel Rebel, Somerville, Massachusetts
Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT)
- Tiffani Faison, Orfano, Boston, Massachusetts (Faison was also a 2020 semifinalist in this category.)
- Vien Doubi, CÔNG TỬ BỘT, Portland, Maine (Doubi was also a 2020 semifinalist in this category.)
- Courtney Loreg, Woodford Food and Beverage, Portland, Maine
- Damian Sansonetti, Chaval, Portland, Maine
- Nisachon Morgan, Saap, Randolph, Vermont
The foundation also announced its five 2022 Leadership Award winners today, including Boston’s own Irene Li, cofounder of Mei Mei Dumplings, Prepshift, and Project Restore Us. At 31, she’s the youngest ever winner of this award.
Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Foundation Awards.