On January 25, the James Beard Foundation announced its annual list of semifinalists for its prestigious restaurant and chef awards.
Dozens of restaurants from around New England were recognized as semifinalists this year, including fine dining spot Wolfpeach in Camden, Maine, and Peruvian restaurant Cora Cora in West Hartford, Connecticut.
Twelve Boston-area chefs and restaurants made the cut, including chef Rachel Miller and her acclaimed tasting menu spot Nightshade Noodle Bar in Lynn, and Vinh Le of Vietnamese hot spot Cicada Coffee Bar in Cambridge. In the category for best chef, Northeast, chef Ellie Tiglao was recognized for her work at Tanám, a pioneering Filipinx American restaurant that shut down in January after four years.
This is the second year that the James Beard Foundation has published the annual list following an awards hiatus in 2020 and 2021 that was sparked by an internal reckoning at the restaurant industry nonprofit. When the awards reappeared in 2022, the foundation promised that the revamped awards system would be more transparent and equitable. The nonprofit added an independent ethics committee to handle allegations of nominee misconduct and set a goal of having at least half of the James Beard Award committee members and judges be people of color by 2023.
Next up, the semifinalists will be whittled down to a short list of award nominees that will be announced on March 29. Final winners will be announced in an awards presentation on June 5.
Check out the full list of New England semifinalists below:
- Krista Cole, Sur Lie and Gather Restaurant, Portland, ME
- Rachel Miller, Nightshade Noodle Bar, Lynn, MA
- David Vargas, Vida Cantina, Portsmouth, NH
- Cora Cora, West Hartford, CT
- PAGU, Cambridge, MA
- Red Rose Restaurant, Lowell, MA
- Vinh Le, Cicada Coffee Bar, Cambridge, MA
Best New Restaurant
(Note: Restaurants that opened between January 1, 2022 and September 30, 2022 were considered eligible for this award.)
- La Royal, Cambridge, MA
- Wolfpeach, Camden, ME
- Haymaker Bun Company, Middlebury, VT
Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker
- Atsuko Fujimoto, Norimoto Bakery, Portland, ME
- Amanda Wildermuth, Honey Road, Burlington, VT
- The Quarry, Monson, ME
- Sur Lie, Portland, ME
Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program
- Foam Brewers, Burlington, VT
- Rebel Rebel, Somerville, MA
- The Jewel Box, Portland, ME
Best Chef: Northeast
- Robert Andreozzi, Pizza Marvin, Providence, RI
- Paul Callahan, Vino e Vivo, Exeter, NH
- Jeff Fournier, Thompson House Eatery, Jackson, NH
- Mojo Hancy-Davis, May Day, Burlington, VT
- Valentine Howell, Krasi, Boston, MA
- Christian Hunter, Community Table, Washington, CT
- Sara Jenkins, Nina June, Rockport, ME
- Jason LaVerdiere, Flux, Lisbon Falls, ME
- Courtney Loreg, Woodford Food & Beverage, Portland, ME
- Alganesh Michael, A Taste of Abyssinia, South Burlington, VT
- Yahya Noor, Tawakal Halal Cafe, Boston, MA
- Tony Pastor, Fore Street, Portland, ME
- Isaul Perez, Isa, Portland, ME
- Sherry Pocknett, Sly Fox Den Too, Charlestown, RI
- Yisha Siu, Yunnan Kitchen, Boston, MA
- Derrick Teh, SEKALI, Boston, MA
- Ellie Tiglao, Tanám, Somerville, MA
- Renee Touponce, The Port of Call, Mystic, CT
- Milena Pagán, Little Sister, Providence, RI
- Douglass Williams, MIDA, Boston, MA
Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Foundation Awards.