2013 James Beard Foundation Awards Restaurant and Chef Semifinalists Unveiled
Feb. 25, 2013
Last week James Beard Foundation announced its list of Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists for the 2013 James Beard Foundation Awards, the nation’s most prestigious recognition program honoring professionals in the food and beverage industries. Selected from a list of over 44,000 online entries, the prestigious group of semifinalists in 20 categories represents a wide variety of culinary talent, from exceptional chefs and dining destinations in ten different regions across the U.S., to the nation’s top wine and spirits professionals, best new restaurants, and rising star chefs.
Mark and Terri Stark of Stark Reality Restaurants (Willi’s Wine Bar, Monti’s Rotisserie & Bar, Willi’s Seafood & Raw Bar, Bravas Bar de Tapas, Stark's Steakhouse and Seafood.), are semi finalists for the category of Outstanding Restaurateur. They are the only semi-finalists in that category in the Bay Area.
How the Restaurant and Chef Awards Work
The James Beard Foundation holds an online open call for entries beginning in mid-October of each year. This year, over 44,000 entries were received, a list which the Restaurant and Chef Committee goes through to determine eligibility and regional representation. Based on the results and eligibility requirements for each award, the committee then produces a nominating ballot that lists the semifinalists in each of the 20 Restaurant and Chef awards categories, some of which include Outstanding Chef, Outstanding Restaurant, Best Chef in ten different U.S. regions, Rising Star Chef of the Year, Outstanding Service, Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional, Outstanding Bar Program, and Best New Restaurant.
The list of semifinalist nominees is then sent to an independent volunteer panel of more than 600 judges from across the country. This panel, which comprises leading regional restaurant critics, food and wine editors, culinary educators, and past James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Award winners, votes on specific award categories to determine the final five nominees in each category. The same judges then vote on these five nominees to select the winners. The governing Awards Committee, board of trustees, and staff of the James Beard Foundation do not vote, and the results are kept confidential until the presentation of winners in May.
See this year’s full semifinalist list at jamesbeard.org/awards.