The James Beard Foundation is proud to announce the nominees for the 2020 James Beard Awards presented by Capital One. The nominees were announced today on what would have been the 30th Anniversary James Beard Awards in Chicago. Over the past few months COVID-19 has upended the restaurant community in every facet. During this time the Foundation has turned its attention to supporting the relief and rebuild efforts, postponing Awards activities to instead focus on the James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund, which to date has disbursed more than $4 million to independent, locally owned restaurants around the country. After consultation with the chefs and restaurateurs across the country, the Foundation decided to announce the 2020 nominees and honorees, and set the dates for this year’s remaining Awards events, which recognize the work done in 2019. 

Kris Moon, Chief Operating Officer, James Beard Foundation , Clare Reichenbach, Chief Executive Officer James Beard Foundation , and Jeff Guaracino, President & CEO Visit Philadelphia at James Beard Foundation’s Cultivation Event on September 19, 2019.

The announcement was livestreamed via the Foundation’s Twitter account and co-hosted by VISIT PHILADELPHIA President and CEO Jeff Guaracino and Clare Reichenbach, CEO of the James Beard Foundation. As the original nominee announcement was set to take place in Philadelphia, the Foundation shared the virtual stage with several others from the great city, including Mayor Jim Kenney,  Philadelphia’s Kalaya Thai Kitchen chef and owner, Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon **(Nominee for Best New Restaurant), and Jamila Robinson, 2020 Journalism Awards Committee Vice Chair and Food Editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer. David Whitaker, President & CEO of Choose Chicago, also joined virtually from the Awards’s host city of Chicago.

Sam Shoap, Billy Riddle, Spice Finch, Joey Baldino, Zeppoli and Palizzi Social Club, Rich Landau** (Nominated for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic) and Kate Jacoby of Vedge

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)

  • Amy Brandwein, Centrolina, Washington, D.C.
  • Nicholas Elmi, Laurel, Philadelphia
  • Rich Landau, Vedge, Philadelphia
  • Cristina Martinez, South Philly Barbacoa, Philadelphia
  • Jon Sybert, Tail Up Goat, Washington, D.C.
  • Cindy Wolf, Charleston, Baltimore
Jeff Benjamin (left) and Marc Vetri ** (Outstanding Chef nominee) (right) host the annual Great Chefs Event. With them are Marco Rossi (chef, Le Cantine D and L’Osteria in Italy), and Sue Torres (executive chef/owner, Sueños in NYC).

Outstanding Chef (Presented by All-Clad Metalcrafters)

A chef who sets high culinary standards and who has served as a positive example for other food professionals. Eligible candidates must have been working as a chef for the past five years.

  • David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA
  • Corey Lee, Benu, San Francisco
  • Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans
  • Missy Robbins, Lilia, NYC
  • Ana Sortun, Oleana, Cambridge, MA
  • Marc Vetri, Vetri Cucina, Philadelphia

Nominees were announced in nearly 60 categories of the Foundation’s various awards programs, including Restaurant and Chef, Restaurant Design, and Media. A complete list of nominees can be found at the end of this release, as well as at jamesbeard.org/awards.

Additionally, the Foundation announced today that they will forego hosting a physical ceremony for the 2020 Media Awards and instead will issue a press release on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 announcing the winners. Finally, Restaurant & Chef Award winners are now slated to be announced on Friday, September 25, 2020, from Chicago and they will be broadcast live via the James Beard Foundation’s  Twitter feed. Additional details on the September announcement, including format and location, are forthcoming.

Check out the James Beard Foundation Awards Website for the rest of the nominations