The 2019 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists were announced today, and there are seven East Bay contenders in the running for the following four categories:
Best New Restaurant:
Nyum Bai, Oakland
Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Producer:
Yoshihiro Sako of Den Sake Brewery, Oakland
Lance Winters of St. George Spirits, Alameda
Outstanding Wine Program
Great China, Berkeley
Best Chef: West
Reem Assil of Reem’s California, Oakland
Dominica Rice-Cisneros of Cosecha Café, Oakland
James Syhabout of Commis, Oakland
For this year’s awards, the James Beard Foundation changed its policies and procedures to be more equitable and inclusive, and to be more representative of the racial, ethnic and gender diversity in the restaurant industry. Several new policies have been made, focusing on the representation of its committee members, increasing entry accessibility for participants and increasing the transparency of its judging process.
The James Beard Award restaurant and chef finalists will be announced on March 27 and the winners will be named at the James Beard Awards gala on May 6, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.