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Who’s Who: The NYC James Beard Foundation Award Nominees, 2014

It’s often called the “Oscars of the Food World.” But this year, we prefer to hail it as the “Grammys of Gastronomy,” given that the theme of the 23rd annual James Beard Foundation Awards is Sounds of the City, tying together the worlds of food and music. The awards are special to New York City for a few reasons. First, our culinary scene rocks so hard that we’re the only city in the nation to have its own category. Secondly, the ceremony is held right in the heart of Manhattan, with a gala black tie event in Lincoln Center. And finally, though born and raised in Oregon, James Beard spent most of his life here in NYC.

It’s certainly a tough contest for Best Chef New York City; but in other categories, consider us rooting for the home team. Here are the key players in NYC this year.


Dominique Ansel

Dominique Ansel with a tray of Cronuts (Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Dominique Ansel
Nominated for: Outstanding Pastry Chef
The creator of the Cronut at Dominique Ansel Bakery sees his second nomination for outstanding pastry chef, which is a nationwide category.

Michael Anthony
Nominated for: Outstanding Chef
He’s already championed the category for best chef New York, snagging the title in 2012. Now, Gramercy Tavern’s executive chef/partner is in the run for the nationwide title.

Katie Bell
Nominated for: Outstanding Service
It takes a staff/village for outstanding service in a restaurant, but at Blue Hill NYC, Bell is the service director, thus the lady who makes all the magic of hospitality seem so seamless.

April Bloomfield
Nominated for: Best Chef New York City
As the chef/proprietor of The Spotted Pig, The Breslin, The John Dory and Salvation Taco, this is the fourth year in a row that Bloomfield has been nominated for best chef.

Marco Canora
Nominated for: Outstanding Restaurant
His Hearth just celebrated 10 years in the East Village, making it eligible for outstanding restaurant in the nation.

Mario Carbone
Nominated for: Best New Restaurant
He’s part of the on-fire Major Food Group, which includes Torrisi and ZZ’s clam bar, but the restaurant that bears his name, Carbone, is one of three NYC hopefuls for best new restaurant nationwide.

Wylie Dufresne
Nominated for: Outstanding Restaurant
He might be on a hot streak: after winning best chef NYC last year, and just after celebrating 11 years at wd-50, Dufresne may very well take home outstanding restaurant in the nation this year.

Daniel Humm and Will Guidara
Nominated for: I Love New York: Ingredients and Recipes
It’s almost embarrassing how many accolades and awards the team at Eleven Madison Park have collected. After winning pretty much every chef and restaurant award manageable, chef/co-owner Daniel Humm and GM/co-owner Will Guidara now have a nominated cookbook.

Dan Kluger
Nominated for: Best Chef New York City
This is the first year Kluger nabs a best chef nominee, though he already helped earn ABC Kitchen an award in 2011 for Best New Restaurant.

Mark Ladner
Nominated for: Best Chef New York City
Maybe the third time-nomination will be the charm for Ladner, the Del Posto executive chef. His pastry chef, Brooks Headley, brought home Outstanding Pastry Chef last year.

Ignacio Mattos
Nominated for: Best New Restaurant
The small, buzzy Estela took everyone by surprise this year, because of chef Mattos’s delicious, accessibly haute menu, which would make it even cooler if the restaurant won best new restaurant nod in the nation this year.

Michael Madrigale
Nominated for: Outstanding Wine Program
Bar Boulud’s head sommelier has already been named a Wine Enthusiast sommelier of the year and a Food & Wine sommelier of the year.

Garrett Oliver
Nominated for: Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional
Brooklyn Brewery has become as synonymous with New York as Sam Adams has with Boston. He’s our brewer/patriot of the boroughs.

Leo Robitschek
Nominated for: Outstanding Bar Program
The Star Chefs “Rising Star Mixologist” is now poised for recognition for his work at The Bar at the Nomad.

Bryce Shuman
Nominated for: Best New Restaurant
Betony’s executive chef has grabbed the attention of NYC foodies ever since he landed a three-star review from Pete Wells in The New York Times in 2013.

Phil Suarez
Nominated for: Outstanding Restaurateur
There’s no denying the golden touch of the quiet man behind restaurants such as Jean-Georges, ABC Kitchen, ABC Cocina, wd-50 and many others.

Christina Tosi
Nominated for: Outstanding Pastry Chef
The woman responsible for Momofuku’s sweets already proved to be a James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef of the Year in 2012; now she’s set to conquer the national title of outstanding pastry chef.

Jonathan Waxman
Nominated for: Best Chef New York City
This is the chef/owner of Barbuto’s second consecutive nomination for Best Chef New York, though if the James Beard Foundation Awards existed in the 80s, we have a feeling he would have already earned one back then.

Michael White
Nominated for: Best Chef New York City
He’s already earned Best New Restaurant in 2010 for Marea, but now White is tied with April Bloomfield with four consecutive best chef nominations.

David Wondrich
Nominated for: Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional
Esquire writer and cocktail historian Wondrich is largely responsible for raising the bar for cocktails in NYC.

Krystof Zizka
Nominated for: Outstanding Bar Program
Maison Premiere first drew attention for its absinthe drip, but frequenters know that there’s much more behind the bar program here.

NYers also honored:
Who’s Who
David Chang, 
Chef and Restaurateur 
This award actually pre-dates the Beards, originally begun in 1984 by Cook’s magazine. This year, Momofuku’s Chang joins a “cadre of the most accomplished food and beverage professionals in the country.”

2014 James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award
Sirio Maccioni has been the ultimate maitre d’ since he arrived in the U.S. from Italy in the 1950s, and is the man behind one of the country’s most legendary restaurants: Le Cirque, NYC, which just celebrated its 40th birthday.

The 2014 James Beard Foundation Awards will be presented via livestream at 6pm on Monday, May 5.

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