The 2019 restaurant and chef semifinalists have been announced in advance of the James Beard Awards, a celebration of exceptional chefs and dining destinations nationally and across ten different regions.
The foundation holds an online open call for entries. Those received, with input from an independent volunteer group of over 250 panelists across the country, are reviewed by the Restaurant and Chef committee to determine eligibility and regional representation. The committee then provides the nominating ballot of semifinalists that is voted on by more than 600 judges, including leading restaurant critics, food and wine editors, culinary educators, and past winners, to find the final nominees. The same group of judges then votes to select winners.
Several restaurants in New Orleans that have been nominated in the below categories.
Best New Restaurant, for which the Elysian Bar and Bywater American Bistro were nominated, is one that demonstrates excellence in cuisine and hospitality, likely to make a significant impact in the future.
The Outstanding Chef award is for a chef who been working for the past five years, setting high culinary standards and serving as positive example for other food professionals. New Orleans chef Donald Link of Herbsaint was nominated.
Local Kelly Fields of Willa Jean was nominated for Outstanding Pastry Chef, one that has demonstrated exceptional skill, integrity, and character, for at least the past five years, preparing desserts, pastries, or breads served in a restaurant.
In the category of Outstanding Restaurateur, for one that has demonstrated creativity in entrepreneurship and integrity in restaurant operations for the past 10 years, JoAnn Clevenger of Upperline was nominated.
Lastly, Brigsten’s has been nominated for the award of Outstanding Service, a restaurant that has been in operation for five or more years demonstrating consistency and exceptional thoughtfulness in hospitality and service.
The award show will be hosted in Houston on March 27 at 9 a.m. CT and 10 a.m. ET. It will be live-streamed online and nominees will be live-tweeted via the James Beard Foundation Twitter feed.