Congratulations to the James Beard Award Semi-Finalists 2018

We wanted to share in the joy and congratulate some of the incredible restaurants, chefs, and food industry professionals we work with for achieving the title of James Beard Award Semifinalists! 

Best New Restaurant Category (& Best Chef, North East):

Honey Road, Burlington, VT & Cara Chigazola-Tobin

Congratulations to Honey Road and to Chef/Owner Cara Chigazola-Tobinan for becoming Semifinalists for TWO James Beard Award categories. Honey Road is an incredible Mediterranean mezze restaurant located in Burlington, VT. We especially love their Tahini Sundae!

Outstanding Baker:

Tova du Plessis, Essen Bakery, Philadelphia

Yet again, Tova du Plessis makes the list for obvious reasons. Essen Bakery, is a little Jewish artisanal bakery located in South Philly. Their treats are divine! Congratulations on becoming a Semifinalist in the Outstanding Baker category of the James Beard Awards.

Maura Kilpatrick, Sofra Bakery and Café, Cambridge, MA

Maura Kilpatrick’s tahini shortbread is second to none, so it’s no surprise to see her nominated for the James Beard Outstanding Baker Award! We’re always delighted with her offerings at Sofra Bakery & Cafe in Cambridge, MA – a wonderful bakery for Middle Eastern sweets & savory bites.

Lisa Ludwinski, Sister Pie, Detroit

When MaryJo visited Sister Pie, she wanted to order everything on the menu.  Lisa Ludwinski, we are so happy for you and Sister Pie in Detroit for making the James Beard Semifinalist list for Outstanding Baker!

Greg Wade, Publican Quality Bread, Chicago

Congratulations to James Beard nominee for Outstanding Baker, Greg Wade, of Publication Quality Breads. Be sure to stop by Publican Quality Meats to eat a delicious sandwich creation made with his yummy bread. Don’t forget to take a loaf home to enjoy later!

Outstanding Chef:

Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery + Cafe, Boston

It’s worth the wait in line to eat a delish breakfast at any of Flour Bakery & Cafe’s locations in the Boston area. Congratulations to the amazing Joanne Chang for her nomination for the James Beard Outstanding Chef Award!

Ashley Christensen, Poole’s Diner, Raleigh, NC

Ashley Christensen could have been nominated for Outstanding Chef for all of her AC Restaurant Group venues. This year, she got the nod for Poole’s Diner for her reimagined comfort food with an ever-changing chalkboard menu. Try not to miss the Mac & Cheese!

Outstanding Pastry Chef:

Pat O’Malley, Hungry Pigeon, Philadelphia

Let’s be honest; we love to see a Philly nominee. Who better than Pat O’Malley of Hungry Pigeon in Queen Village? Big shoutout for making the Semifinalist list for Outstanding Pastry Chef!

Cynthia Wong, Butcher & Bee, Charleston, SC

There’s a reason you keep seeing Cynthia Wong’s name in the press – her passion & creativity are expressed in everything she makes. If you haven’t been to Butcher & Bee in Charleston, go now! Congrats to Cynthia Wong for her James Beard nomination for Outstanding Pastry Chef.

Outstanding Restaurant:

Momofuku Noodle Bar, NYC

Momofuku Noodle Bar was the first restaurant in the Momofuku restaurant group. With brilliantly evolving seasonal menus, Momofuku keeps us coming back for more. Congratulations to the MomoFuku team & David Chang for your James Beard nomination for Outstanding Restaurant.

Outstanding Restaurateur:

Ethan Stowell Restaurants, Seattle

Ethan Stowell is taking Seattle by storm. With restaurants including Staple & Fancy, Tavolata, How To Cook A Wolf, Anchovies & Olives, Rione XIII, Bar Cotto, Mkt., Red Cow, Noyer, Ballard Pizza Company, Eat. Run. Hope., it’s clear his mission to serve fresh ingredients amongst all of his restaurants and let the food do the talking is working in his favor. Congratulations, Ethan Stowell, for being nominated for James Beard’s Outstanding Restaurateur!

Ellen Yin, High Street Hospitality Group, Philadelphia

Ellen Yin is a force of nature. From High Street on Market to Fork, her food is always divine. We’ve watched her career soar, and so we are thrilled to see this Philadelphian nominated for the James Beard Outstanding Restaurateur award!

Andrew Tarlow, Brooklyn, NY (Diner, Marlow & Sons, Reynard, and others)

We aren’t surprised to see Andrew Tarlow nominated for the James Beard Outstanding Restaurateur category. His “stripped-down, exposed brick” restaurant aesthetic went viral, and his restaurants are heading in that direction.  

Garrett Harker, Boston (Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks, Island Creek Oyster Bar, Row 34, and others)

With all of the oysters on menus in Boston, how do you stand out from the crowd? Garrett Harker must know the answer, because he’s managed to do it more than once! Congrats on your James Beard nomination for Outstanding Restaurateur.

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

Ken Oringer keeps re-inventing the wheel (he does it better than anyone we know). From Little Donkey to Toro to the rest of his empire, we want to EVERYTHING his restaurants dish up. Congratulations for your James Beard nomination for Outstanding Restaurateur!

Outstanding Service:

Zahav, Philadelphia

Let’s be honest; we love @michaelsolomonov and his incredibly talented team. We’re thrilled to see Zahav nominated yet again for TWO James Beard nominations; one for Outstanding Service & the other to Camille Cogswell for Rising Star Chef of the Year! @zahavrestaurant!

Zuni Café, San Francisco

We know personally how great the service is at Zuni Cafe! The food is divine, as well. Congratulations to the entire team at Zuni for the well-deserved James beard nomination for Outstanding Service.

Outstanding Wine, Spirits, Beer Professional

Jordan Salcito, Ramona, NYC

Who ever thought that wine coolers could be hip again? Apparently, Jordan Salcito did. Her modern take on a trend of the past has re-imagined the entire industry. That’s why she so deserves her James Beard nomination for Outstanding Wine, Spirits, beer Professional! Congrats, Jordan. We loved meeting you last week in Miami!

Lena Sareini, Selden Standard, Detroit

Lena Sareini’s imaginative and delicious cocktails and her carefully curated wines and beer selections make it easy to understand why she was nominated for James Beard’s Outstanding Wine, Spirits, Beer Professional. Congrats, Lena!

Best Chef, Great Lakes:

Jason Hammel, Lula Café, Chicago

Congratulations to Jason Hammel for being nominated for the James Beard Best Chef, Great Lakes Category! His innovative and elevated food items served in a funky, cool space in Chicago really speaks to Chicagoans. And, its brunch menu is one that shouldn’t be skipped!

Best Chef, North East:

Karen Akunowicz, Myers + Chang, Boston

Congratulations Karen Akunowicz for being nominated for a James Beard award again! As Executive Chef & Partner Myers+Chang, Bravo TV’s Emmy Nominated Top Chef California, and Co-Author of “Myers+Chang at Home”, Karen offers a special take on Asian-inspired cuisine with her upscale, innovative small plates.

Cassie Piuma, Sarma, Somerville, MA

When it comes to raising the bar on new takes on Mediterranean cuisine, Cassie Piuma does just that at @SarmaBoston. Her seven-layer hummus along with her potato falafel are some absolutely delicious and impressive bites. Congratulations on your James Beard Award nomination for Best Chef, North East!

For more James Beard nominations, visit


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