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Final nominees announced for 2015 James Beard Awards

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President of the James Beard Foundation Susan Ungaro poses with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and city chefs to announce the new ceremony location for its 25th anniversary. (AP Photo)

Today, the James Beard Foundation announced the final list of nominees for its 2015 awards.

Widely regarded as the “Academy Awards of the food world,” the Foundation recognizes industry leaders in several programs including Restaurant and Chef, Restaurant Design, Book, Broadcast and Journalism.

Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation, announced this year’s nominees across 59 categories from the Beard House in New York City.

Awards for Book, Broadcast and Journalism Awards will be announced April 24 in a ceremony hosted by Carla Hall in New York City. Alton Brown will host the James Beard Foundation's 25th anniversary Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception at Lyric Opera in Chicago on May 4.

This year’s Humanitarian of the Year Award will be presented to Michael Nischan, president and co-founder of Wholesome Wave, a foundation that supports local access to fresh, healthy food. The Lifetime Achievement honor will be awarded to Richard Melman of Lettuce Entertain You entertainment and restaurant group.  

For a full list of these year’s finalists across all categories, see the James Beard Foundation's website.

2015 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards

Best New Restaurant

A restaurant opened in 2014 that already displays excellence in food, beverage, and service and is likely to have a significant impact on the industry in years to come.

Bâtard, NYC

Central Provisions, Portland, ME

Cosme, NYC

Parachute, Chicago

Petit Trois, Los Angeles

The Progress, San Francisco

Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis

Outstanding Baker

Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery + Cafe, Boston

Mark Furstenberg, Bread Furst, Washington, D.C.

Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery, NYC

Belinda Leong and Michel Suas, B. Patisserie, San Francisco

William Werner, Craftsman and Wolves, San Francisco

Outstanding Bar Program

An establishment that displays and encourages excellence in cocktail, spirits, and/or beer service.

Arnaud's French 75 Bar, New Orleans

Bar Agricole, San Francisco

Maison Premiere, Brooklyn, NY

Trick Dog, San Francisco

The Violet Hour, Chicago

Outstanding Chef

A working chef in America whose career has set national industry standards and who has served as an inspiration to other food professionals. Candidates must have been working as chefs for at least the past 5 years.

Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern, NYC

Sean Brock, Husk, Charleston, SC

Suzanne Goin, Lucques, Los Angeles

Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans

Marc Vetri, Vetri, Philadelphia

Outstanding Pastry Chef

A chef or baker who prepares desserts, pastries, or breads and who serves as a standard-bearer for excellence. Candidates must have been pastry chefs or bakers for at least the past 5 years.

Dana Cree, Blackbird, Chicago

Maura Kilpatrick, Oleana, Cambridge, MA

Dahlia Narvaez, Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles

Ghaya Oliveira, Daniel, NYC

Christina Tosi, Momofuku, NYC

Outstanding Restaurant

A restaurant in the United States that serves as a national standard-bearer for consistent quality and excellence in food, atmosphere, and service. Candidates must have been in operation for at least 10 or more consecutive years.

Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, NY

Highlands Bar and Grill, Birmingham, AL

Momofuku Noodle Bar, NYC

Per Se, NYC

The Spotted Pig, NYC

Outstanding Restaurateur

A working restaurateur who sets high national standards in restaurant operations and entrepreneurship. Candidates must have been in the restaurant business for at least 10 years. Candidates must not have been nominated for a James Beard Foundation chef award in the past 10 years.

JoAnn Clevenger, Upperline, New Orleans

Donnie Madia, One Off Hospitality Group, Chicago (Blackbird, Avec, The Publican, and others)

Michael Mina, Mina Group, San Francisco (Michael Mina, RN74, Bourbon Steak, and others)

Cindy Pawlcyn, Napa, CA (Mustards Grill, Cindy's Back Street Kitchen, and Cindy's Waterfront at the Monterey Bay Aquarium)

Stephen Starr, Starr Restaurants, Philadelphia (The Dandelion, Talula's Garden, Serpico, and others)

Outstanding Service

A restaurant that demonstrates high standards of hospitality and service. Candidates must have been in operation for at least the past 5 years.

The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN

Marea, NYC

Quince, San Francisco

Restaurant August, New Orleans

Topolobampo, Chicago

Outstanding Wine Program

A restaurant that displays and encourages excellence in wine service through a well-presented wine list, a knowledgeable staff, and efforts to educate customers about wine. Candidates must have been in operation for at least 5 years.

A16, San Francisco

Bern's Steak House, Tampa, FL

FIG, Charleston, SC

McCrady's, Charleston, SC

Spago, Beverly Hills, CA

Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional

A winemaker, brewer, or spirits professional who has had a significant impact on the wine, beer and spirits industry nationwide. Candidates must have been in the profession for at least 5 years.

Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE

Ron Cooper, Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal, Ranchos de Taos, NM

Ted Lemon, Littorai Wines, Sebastopol, CA

Rajat Parr, Mina Group, San Francisco

Harlen Wheatley, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, KY

Rising Star Chef of the Year

A chef age 30 or younger who displays an impressive talent and who is likely to have a significant impact on the industry in years to come.

Tanya Baker, Boarding House, Chicago

Alex Bois, High Street on Market, Philadelphia

Erik Bruner-Yang, Toki Underground, Washington, D.C.

Jessica Largey, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA

Cara Stadler, Tao Yuan, Brunswick, ME

Ari Taymor, Alma, Los Angeles

Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH)

Curtis Duffy, Grace, Chicago

Jonathon Sawyer, Greenhouse Tavern, Cleveland

Paul Virant, Vie, Western Springs, IL

Erling Wu-Bower, Nico Osteria, Chicago

Andrew Zimmerman, Sepia, Chicago

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)

Joe Cicala, Le Virtù, Philadelphia

Spike Gjerde, Woodberry Kitchen, Baltimore

Rich Landau, Vedge, Philadelphia

Greg Vernick, Vernick Food & Drink, Philadelphia

Cindy Wolf, Charleston, Baltimore

Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)

Paul Berglund, The Bachelor Farmer, Minneapolis

Justin Carlisle, Ardent, Milwaukee

Gerard Craft, Niche, Clayton, MO

Michelle Gayer, Salty Tart, Minneapolis

Lenny Russo, Heartland Restaurant & Farm Direct Market, St. Paul, MN

Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY STATE, RI, VT)

Karen Akunowicz, Myers + Chang, Boston

Barry Maiden, Hungry Mother, Cambridge, MA

Masa Miyake, Miyake, Portland, ME

Cassie Piuma, Sarma, Somerville, MA

Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley, Eventide Oyster Co., Portland, ME

Best Chef: Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY)

Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton, Ox, Portland, OR

Renee Erickson, The Whale Wins, Seattle

Blaine Wetzel, The Willows Inn on Lummi Island, Lummi Island, WA

Justin Woodward, Castagna, Portland, OR

Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule, Seattle

Best Chef: New York City (Five Boroughs)

Marco Canora, Hearth

Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi, Carbone

Mark Ladner, Del Posto

Anita Lo, Annisa

Ignacio Mattos, Estela

Jonathan Waxman, Barbuto

Best Chef: South (AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, PR)

Vishwesh Bhatt, Snackbar, Oxford, MS

Justin Devillier, La Petite Grocery, New Orleans

Jose Enrique, Jose Enrique, San Juan, PR

Slade Rushing, Brennan's, New Orleans

Alon Shaya, Domenica, New Orleans

Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)

John Fleer, Rhubarb, Asheville, NC

Edward Lee, 610 Magnolia, Louisville, KY

Steven Satterfield, Miller Union, Atlanta

Jason Stanhope, FIG, Charleston, SC

Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Memphis

Tandy Wilson, City House, Nashville

Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, CO, NM, OK, TX, UT)

Kevin Binkley, Binkley’s, Cave Creek, AZ

Aaron Franklin, Franklin Barbecue, Austin

Bryce Gilmore, Barley Swine, Austin

Hugo Ortega, Hugo’s, Houston

Martín Rios, Restaurant Martín, Santa Fe, NM

Justin Yu, Oxheart, Houston

Best Chef: West (CA, HI, NV)

Matthew Accarrino, SPQR, San Francisco

Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, State Bird Provisions, San Francisco

Michael Cimarusti, Providence, Los Angeles

Corey Lee, Benu, San Francisco

Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Animal, Los Angeles

2015 James Beard Foundation America’s Classics

Archie’s Waeside, Le Mars, IA

Owner: Robert Rand

Beaumont Inn, Harrodsburg, KY

Owners: Elizabeth and Dixon Dedman, Helen and

Chuck Dedman

Guelaguetza, Los Angeles

Owners: The Lopez Family

Sally Bell’s Kitchen, Richmond, VA

Owners: Martha Crowe Jones and Scott Jones

Sevilla Restaurant, NYC

Owners: Jose Lloves and Bienvenido Alvarez

2015 James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America Inductees

Allan Benton

Pork Producer and Purveyor, Madisonville, TN

Dale DeGroff

Mixologist, NYC

Wylie Dufresne

Chef and Restaurateur, NYC

Nathalie Dupree

Cookbook Author and Television Personality, Charleston

Maricel Presilla

Chef, Restaurateur, and Cookbook Author, Hoboken, NJ

2015 James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year

Michael Nischan

CEO, President and Co-Founder of Wholesome Wave, Westport, CT

2015 James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award

Richard Melman

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Chicago