The James Beard Foundation announced its 2020 awards finalists during a live-streamed, virtual event today, May 4, after postponing the original March 25 event due to COVID-19. Of the 14 New Orleans chefs and restaurants that received nominations in eight categories, a whopping ten local finalists remain in the running for awards.
Last year, after 14 New Orleans chefs and restaurants received nominations and five were named finalists, New Orleans was represented in just one winning category — Willa Jean’s Kelly Field’s took home Outstanding Pastry Chef.
The Foundation also announced the awards ceremony will be held Friday, September 25 in Chicago, with event details to come. For the full list of national finalists, see here.
Here is the 2020 New Orleans short list:
Best Chefs: South
- Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus, Coquette and the new Thalia
- Michael Gulotta, Maypop
- Mason Hereford, Turkey and the Wolf
- Isaac Toups, Toups’ Meatery
Outstanding Wine Program
- Graison Gill, Bellegarde Bakery
- JoAnn Clevenger, Upperline
Best New Restaurant
- Donald Link, Herbsaint
Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Foundation Awards.