The 2018 James Beard Award Finalists Have Been Announced

Philly's bakers and women chefs and restauranteurs showed strong in the semis. Here's who's still in the game.

James Beard Foundation

When the James Beard Foundation announced the semifinalists for this year’s awards back in February, Philly got a pleasant surprise. Its killer bakery scene was recognized with nominations for stars like Essen’s Tova du Plessis, Hungry Pigeon’s Pat O’Malley, and fried dough wizards Alex Talbot and Aki Kamozawa of Stockton, New Jersey’s Curiosity Donuts.

Women chefs and restauranteurs scored big, too: Ellen Yin and Aimee Olexy (for her Kennet Square flagship Talula’s Table) were recognized, and Zahav pastry chef Camille Cogswell was again nominated for Rising Star Chef. In the Best Chef category, Hardena’s Ena Widjojo, Maylia Widjojo, and Diana Widjojo scored noms, with El Compadre’s Cristina Martinez and Ben Miller rounding things out. (The usual suspects, like Nick Elmi and Rich Landau, were also nominated.)

This morning at Parc — owned by 2017’s Outstanding Restauranteur Stephen Starr — the finalists were announced.

…and the list of finalists is substantially shorter than the list of semifinalists. While Philly had 15 area nominations in the semis, only four made it through to the finals. See who made the cut below.

The 2018 award winners will be announced on Monday, May 7th.

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

Rich Landau, Vedge

Outstanding Restauranteur

Ellen Yin

Outstanding Service


Rising Star Chef

Camille Cogswell, Zahav