February 26, 2020
The James Beard Foundation's list of semifinalist restaurants and chefs for the 2020 James Beard Awards were announced Wednesday morning. The long list includes well-known Philadelphia chefs Marc Vetri, Cristina Martinez and Nick Elmi, and gave nods to a few Philly establishments.
Le Caveau, a wine bar that recently opened on The Good King Tavern's second floor, was recognized among the nominees for Outstanding Wine Program, as well as Tired Hands Brewing Co.'s brewer Jean Broillet IV for Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Producer.
As for one of the most exciting categories, Best New Restaurant, a Thai kitchen in Bella Vista made the list. Kalaya opened in June and has since impressed the city with its authentic and spicy dishes.
All the semifinalists from Pennsylvania and South Jersey nominated for the 30th annual edition of the awards are listed below. The full list can be viewed on the James Beard Foundation's website.
• Kalaya, Philadelphia
• Tova du Plessis, Essen Bakery, Philadelphia
• Horse Inn, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
• Marc Vetri, Vetri Cucina, Philadelphia
• Bolete, Bethlehem, PA
• Le Caveau, Philadelphia
• Jean Broillet IV, Tired Hands Brewing Co., Ardmore, PA
• Jesse Ito, Royal Izakaya, Philadelphia
• Nicholas Elmi, Laurel, Philadelphia
• Rich Landau, Vedge, Philadelphia
• Cristina Martinez, South Philly Barbacoa, Philadelphia
• Taylor Mason, Luca, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
• Joey Baldino, Zeppoli, Collingswood, New Jersey
In 2019, several local restaurants and chefs made it to the next stage and were named finalists for various awards. Ultimately, Michael Solomonov's restaurant Zahav won the James Beard Award for Best Restaurant in the county. It was the only local winner.
Here's hoping that Philly fares better this awards season.
The five finalist nominees per category will be announced on Wednesday, March 25, at the Barnes Foundation.