James Beard award finalists to watch out for: chefs José Andrés and Gary Danko

This year's list of finalists for the prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards was culled from a record 28,000 entries online. The 'Oscars' of the American food world will be awarded in a ceremony May 9 in New York City, and hosted by celebrity chefs Tom Colicchio, Ming Tsai and Traci Des Jardins.

High profile celebrity chef José Andrés is one to look out for in the Outstanding Chef Award category. The battle for best new restaurant will also be a tight race between Corey Lee's Benu in San Francisco, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's ABC Kitchen in New York City and Barbara Lynch's Menton in Boston.

Here's a partial list of this year's finalists:

Outstanding Chef Award

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.

José Andrés for Minibar, Washington D.C.

Gary Danko, for Restaurant Gary Danko, San Francisco

Suzanne Goin, for Lucques, Los Angeles

Paul Kahan, for Blackbird, Chicago

Charles Phan, for The Slanted Door, San Francisco

Outstanding Restaurant Award   

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, New York City, Chef Dan Barber

Boulevard, San Francisco, Chef Nancy Oakes

Eleven Madison Park, New York City, Owner Danny Meyer

Highlands Bar and Grill, Birmingham, Alabama, Chef Frank Stitt

Vetri, Philadelphia, Chef Marc Vetri and Jeff Benjamin

Best New Restaurant

A restaurant opened in 2010 that already displays excellence in food, beverage, and service and is likely to have a significant impact on the industry in years to come.

ABC Kitchen, New York City, Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten

Benu, San Francisco, Chef Corey Lee

Girl & the Goat, Chicago, Chef Stephanie Izard

Menton, Boston, Chef Barbara Lynch

Torrisi Italian Specialties, New York City, Chefs Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi

Outstanding Service Award

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

Canlis, Seattle

Emeril's, New Orleans

La Grenouille, New York City

Per Se, New York City

Topolobampo,  Chicago

Outstanding Wine Service Award

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

Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN

Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder, CO

Picasso at Bellagio, Las Vegas

The Modern, New York City

Rising Star Chef of the Year Award

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.

Aaron London, Ubuntu, Napa, CA

Thomas McNaughton, flour + water, San Francisco

Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon, Portland, OR

Christina Tosi, Momofuku Milk Bar, New York City

Sue Zemanick, Gautreau's, New Orleans

http://www.jamesbeard.org/

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