NEW ORLEANS - The James Beard Foundation on Monday named nominees for its coveted food, beverage and restaurant prizes.
Five contenders were named for the top chef prize. They are Jose Andres of Minibar in Washington, D.C., Tom Colicchio of Craft in New York City, Gary Danko of Restaurant Gary Danko in San Francisco, Suzanne Goin of Lucques in Los Angeles and Charles Phan of The Slanted Door in San Francisco.
In the best restaurant category, the nominees are Babbo in New York City, Boulevard in San Francisco, Daniel in New York City, Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, Ala., and Spiaggia in Chicago.
Contenders 30 and younger across the nation will compete for the "best rising star chef" award. The nominees are Timothy Hollingsworth of The French Laundry in Yountville, Calif., Johnny Monis of Komi in Washington, D.C., Gregory Pugin of Veritas in New York City, Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon in Portland, Ore., and Sue Zemanick of Gautreau's in New Orleans.
In the cookbook category for American cooking, the three nominees all hailed from the South. They are "My New Orleans" by John Besh, "Real Cajun" by Donald Link with Paula Disbrowe and "The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern: Knockout Dishes with Down-Home Flavor" by Matt and Ted Lee.
Also, writers at the now-defunct Gourmet magazine were nominated in three categories. Conde Nast Publications closed Gourmet, the nation's oldest food magazine, along with three other money-losing titles last October. Colman Andrews was nominated for his column on restaurants, Francis Lam for a piece called "The Last Chinese BBQ" and Barry Estabrook for an article called "The Price of Tomatoes."
The awards cover 55 categories, including awards for best pastry chef, food writing, food-related television shows and the top restaurateur.
The nominees were announced at an event at the Palace Cafe in New Orleans. The winners will be announced May 3 in New York City.
The foundation was established in 1990 in honor of James Beard, a legendary figure in cooking circles who is widely considered the father of American gastronomy.
On the Web:
The James Beard Foundation: www.jamesbeard.org