Today the James Beard Foundation announced the semifinalists for its 2024 Restaurant and Chef Awards. We say it every year: These are basically the Oscars of the food world. But much like “Barbie,” Boston was a bit snubbed, though other New England cities fared better.
In the Outstanding Restaurateur category, Cara Stadler and Cecile Stadler from BaoBao Dumpling House, Tao Yuan Restaurant, and ZaoZe Cafe & Market in Portland, Maine, earn a nod. Chris Viaud from Greenleaf, Ansanm, and Pavilion in Milford, N.H., is also a contender.
Renee Touponce from The Port of Call in Mystic, Conn., is recognized as an Outstanding Chef. Also in Connecticut, West Hartford’s Coracora is in the running for Outstanding Restaurant.
Best emerging chefs include Sky Haneul Kim from Gift Horse in Providence and Joe Robbins from Bissell Brothers Three Rivers Kitchen in Milo, Maine.
Boston does get a shout-out in the Best New Restaurant category thanks to Dorchester’s Comfort Kitchen, whose menu traces the African diaspora. Devra First recently gave it a five-star review. The only other regional contenders are Tuxpan Taqueria in Central Falls, R.I. and The Alna Store in Alna, Maine.
ZU Bakery in Portland, Maine, earns an Outstanding Bakery nomination; Atsuko Fujimot from Norimoto Bakery, also in Portland, is nominated as an Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker. Kristina Zontini from Super Secret Ice Cream in Bethlehem, N.H., is also on the list.
New England didn’t earn high marks in the hospitality category: Giusto in Newport, R.I., and Woodford Food & Beverage in Portland, Maine, are the only names on the roster. In the Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages category, Boston’s haley.henry wine bar and Rebel Rebel in Somerville are in the running. Barr Hill Cocktail Bar in Montpelier, Vt., and Courtland Club in Providence are nominated for Outstanding Bar.
Boston proper doesn’t get much love in the Best Chef, Northeast category, either: John DaSilva from Chickadee and Cecelia Lizotte from Suya Joint are the two nominees. But Pagu’s Tracy Chang, Talulla’s Conor Dennehy, and Gustazo’s Patricia Estorino represent Cambridge.
In Quincy, Laurence Louie from Rubato is on the list, as is Rachel Miller from Nightshade Noodle Bar in Lynn.
In Portland, Maine, Celia Bruns from Artemisia Cafe, Ian Driscoll from Bar Futo, Valerie Goldman from the Honey Paw, and Jake Stevens from Leeward are nominated.
Micah Tavelli from Paradiso Hi-Fi and Cara Chigazola Tobin from Honey Road represent Burlington, Vt.
In Rhode Island, Bristol’s Foglia (Peter Carvelli), Middletown’s Newport Vineyards (Andy Teixeira), Newport’s Yagi Noodles (Basil Yu), and Providence’s Dolores (Maria Meza) and Jahunger (Subat Dilmurat) earn nominations.
The Shipwright’s Daughter from David Standridge in Mystic, Conn., and Otis Restaurant from Lee Frank in Exeter, N.H., complete the regional best chef nominees.
Finalists are announced on Wednesday, April 3; the ceremony happens on Monday, June 10, at Chicago’s Lyric Opera.