Chefs Curtis Duffy and Marc Vetri are big winners in this year’s list of finalists for the James Beard Foundation Restaurant andChef Awards.
A full 60 percent of chefs, restaurants and restaurateurs who received nominations were also nominated in 2013, including the nominees for Best New Restaurant, which are all new. That is a higher percentage than in most years, when about half of the nominees are repeats.
This year, 59 of the 98 nominees in 19 categories are back, not including Blue Hill in New York City, which won the award for Outstanding Restaurant last year. This year it is up for the outstanding service award, along with Quince in San Francisco; Topolobampo in Chicago; Vetri in Philadelphia; and The Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena, Calif., all of which were nominated last year.
Vetri chef-owner Marc Vetri is also one of three new nominees in the Beard Foundation’s highest award for a chef, Outstanding Chef. He is joined by newcomers Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern in New York City and David Kinch of Manresa in Los Gatos, Calif. Back on the list this year are Sean Brock of McCrady’s and Husk in Charleston, S.C.; Suzanne Goin of Lucques in Los Angeles; and Nancy Silverton of Pizzeria Mozza.
Christina Tosi, of Momofuku Milk Bar in New York City, is nominated for Outstanding Pastry Chef.
Curtis Duffy, whose Chicago restaurant Grace opened last year, joins the list of nominees for Best Chef: Great Lakes, which is traditionally dominated by Chicago. Duffy is the only new nominee, replacing Stephanie Izard from Girl & the Goat in Chicago, who won last year. Jonathon Sawyer of The Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland is the only non-Chicago chef on the list, which also includes Dave Beran of Next, Paul Virant of Vie and Andrew Zimmerman of Sepia.
Grace is also nominated for best restaurant design.
New York City dominates the Best New Restaurant category, with three out of five nominees: Betony, Carbone and Estela. The other two nominees are Coqueta in San Francisco and Pêche Seafood Grill in New Orleans.
Two New York restaurants, Hearth and wd~50, are the only newcomers on the Outstanding Restaurant list, which features returnees Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham, Ala., The Slanted Door in San Francisco and Spiaggia in Chicago.
Other New York City newcomers include Bar Boulud, which is up for Outstanding Wine Program, and Maison Premiere in Brooklyn, N.Y., for Outstanding Bar Program.
The winners will be announced at a gala ceremony at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater in New York City on May 5.