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Congrats to the 2019 James Beard Award Winners

The winners and nominees that are #poweredbybento

a plate of food on a wooden table

We’d like to extend a warm congratulations to the winners and nominees of the 2019 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards! The foundation selected one winner out of five finalists for each category. New guidelines were set in place that intended to increase representation, transparency, and accessibility throughout the judging process. Here are the winners and nominees that are #poweredbybento.

Bar Agricole, San Francisco

Winner: Outstanding Bar Program

Bar Agricole's bartender serving guests drinks at the main interior bar.
Bar Agricole's bartender serving guests drinks at the main interior bar. 

Bar Agricole’s groundbreaking cocktail program was developed by bartender and owner Thad Vogler. This contemporary tavern is known for its seasonal craft cocktails made from spirits distilled using traditional farmhouse practices.

Ann Kim, Young Joni, Minneapolis

Winner: Best Chef: Midwest

Young Joni's chef and owner, Ann Kim.
Young Joni's chef and owner, Ann Kim.

Ann Kim is the chef/owner of Young Joni, Pizzeria Lola and Hello Pizza. Her menu at Young Joni aims reflects a conversation between cultures with globally influenced sharable plates, grilled meats and vegetables and signature wood-fired pizzas. 

Rob Katz and Kevin Boehm, Boka Restaurant Group, Chicago

Winner: Outstanding Restaurateur

Kevin Boehm (left) and Rob Katz (right) of Boka Restaurant Group. Photo: Entrepreneurial
Kevin Boehm (left) and Rob Katz (right) of Boka Restaurant Group. Photo: Entrepreneurial

After opening 20 successful restaurants over two decades (including #poweredbybento’s Dutch and Docs), partners Rob Katz and Kevin Boehm have not only built a successful restaurant group, but have established a restaurant culture built on great chefs, inspired hospitality, and amazing design.

2019 James Beard Foundation Award Nominees

David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA

Nominated for: Outstanding Chef

Executive Chef David Kinch’s acclaimed eatery was awarded three Michelin stars in 2016. Kinch uses ingredient-driven cooking to put him at the forefront of new contemporary California cuisine.

Juan Contreras, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco

Nominated for: Outstanding Pastry Chef

Juan Contreras was persistent in his efforts to work with Dominique Crenn and his determination paid off, as he found a spot on her team and ultimately grew into a pivotal role as chef pâtissier at Atelier Crenn. Contreras’s inspiration comes from respecting the past, searching for the small intricacies within nature, and highlighting landscapes, flowers, and aromas.

Jaleo, Washington, D.C.

Nominated for: Outstanding Restaurant

Jaleo’s D.C. location is where José Andrés began his long legacy as a devoted Washington chef, and since its opening in 1993, has transformed DC’s Penn Quarter into the bustling neighborhood that it is today. Jaleo’s menu features Spanish tapas, paella, Spanish wines, cocktails and more.

Quince, San Francisco

Nominated for: Outstanding Restaurant

The three Michelin-starred restaurant showcases Italian and French-inspired Californian cuisine with ingredients from local farms. Chef/owner Michael Tusk takes inspiration from the seasonal bounty of Northern California and his close relationships with local purveyors.

Brigtsen’s, New Orleans

Nominated for: Outstanding Service

Brigtsen's is a NOLA staple that serves award-winning modern Louisiana cuisine in a renovated Victorian cottage. Chef Frank Brigtsen is at the forefront of a new generation of New Orleans chefs who are revitalizing Creole/Acadian cooking.

Ana Castro, Coquette, New Orleans

Nominated for: Rising Star Chef of the Year

Currently the sous chef at New Orleans’ lauded Coquette, Ana Castro is a 2017-18 Ment’or Grant Recipient. Coquette’s innovative approach to southern cuisine has inspired Castro to team up with co-chef and owners of Coquette, Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus, for a new endeavor, Thalia, which will open this spring.

Alexander Hong, Sorrel, San Francisco

Nominated for: Rising Star Chef of the Year

Alexander Hong is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, cutting his teeth at Michelin-starred restaurants Jean Georges and Quince. Now heading up the kitchen at Sorrel, Hong brings Italian-influenced New American cuisine with locally sourced ingredients to the Bay Area.

Daniela Soto-Innes, ATLA, New York City

Nominated for: Best Chef: New York City

Named Rising Star Chef of the Year by the James Beard Foundation last year, Soto-Innes is known for paving the way for the future of Mexican food in the United States. With dishes rooted in Mexican flavors and traditions, Soto-Innes helped Atla earn a 2019 Michelin Bib Gourmand.

Alex Stupak, Empellón Midtown, New York City

Nominated for: Best Chef: New York City

Alex Stupak is the Chef and Co-Owner of Empellón’s four locations, where he serves contemporary American cuisine with Mexican influences. He also co-authored Tacos: Recipes and Provocations with Jordana Rothman, where they explore the art of fresh tortillas and their endless possibilities.

Tiffani Faison, Tiger Mama, Boston

Nominated for: Best Chef: Northeast

Chef Tiffani Faison has made a name for herself nationwide for her dynamic personality, fierce work ethic and distinct ability to create restaurants that are warm, creative, and instantly loveable.  She brings her talents with Southeast Asian–inspired cuisine to Tiger Mama, which has been named one of the Top Women-Led Restaurants Around the Country.

Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus, Coquette, New Orleans

Nominated for: Best Chef: South

Essig proudly joined the Coquette family in the fall of 2016 as a co-chef and partner with Michael Stoltzfus. The couple works side-by-side to craft contemporary Southern cuisine with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients and globally-inspired dishes.

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