Here Are Philly’s James Beard Award Semi-Finalists, Class of 2020

The foundation's long list of nominees was just released and the Philly chef community is well-represented.

50 best restaurants

Tom yum goong at Kalaya. Photograph by Michael Persico

The James Beard Foundation just released their list of nominees for the restaurant awards, and Philly has plenty to celebrate.

Kalaya, the excellent Thai BYO in Bella Vista from Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon is the region’s nominee for Best New Restaurant. We also did well in the beverage category, with Le Caveau, Chloe Grigri’s intimate wine bar that recently opened above the Good King Tavern, nominated for Outstanding Wine Program and Tired Hands Brewing nominated for Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Producer.

Luca, an Italian restaurant in Lancaster, PA, was nominated for the first time in the Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic category, alongside repeat nominees Nicholas Elmi (Laurel), Christina Martinez (South Philly Barbacoa) and Rich Landau (Vedge).

Tova du Plessis and Marc Vetri are among familiar names that have been nominated several times. Jesse Ito has been nominated once again for Rising Star Chef of the Year.

Only one Philly-area restaurant has been nominated for Outstanding Restaurant (the award that Zahav brought home last year). Bolete, located in Bethlehem, PA, is nominated for that award for the second year in a row.

Finalists will be announced (from Philadelphia) at 9 a.m. on March 25th. Click here for the full list of nominees.

Best New Restaurant

Kalaya, Philadelphia

Outstanding Baker

Tova du Plessis, Essen Bakery, Philadelphia

Outstanding Chef

Marc Vetri, Vetri Cucina, Philadelphia

Outstanding Restaurant

Bolete, Bethlehem, PA

Outstanding Wine Program

Le Caveau, Philadelphia

Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Producer

Jean Broillet IV, Tired Hands Brewing Company, Ardmore, PA

Rising Star Chef of the Year

Jesse Ito, Royal Izakaya, Philadelphia

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic

Nicholas Elmi, Laurel, Philadelphia
Rich Landau, Vedge, Philadelphia
Cristina Martinez, South Philly Barbacoa, Philadelphia
Taylor Mason, Luca, Lancaster, PA