February 19, 2013
James Beard Award nominees announced, Sacramento a no-show

20110114_AA_THE KITCHEN002.jpg

Plenty of fingers were surely crossed around the restaurant industry this morning, as semifinalists were announced for the 2013 James Beard Foundation Awards. These are considered among the top prizes in the food world, with today's announcement listing restaurants and chefs which are now vying for an award. This time around, none of those nominees came from Sacramento.

The Kitchen (pictured above) earned a semifinalist nod in 2012, but didn't make the initial cut this year - nor did any other Sacramento restaurant. This felt a little like a let down given the increasing national praise for Sacramento's food and beverage industries, but so it goes. Maybe next year we could see The Kitchen back in the mix, and maybe some recognition for such fine local establishments as Enotria, Kru or Mulvaney's B&L? We'll see.

Meanwhile, the greater San Francisco Bay Area raked up oodles of nominations, including Rich Table (S.F.) for "best new restaurant," David Kinch of Manresa (Los Gatos) for "outstanding chef" and three "outstanding restaurant" contenders from San Francisco: Foreign Cinema, The Slanted Door and Greens Restaurant.

Coming up next, the semifinalist announcements for the James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards on March 18. Here's where the Sacramento area has received some nods in the past. Hank Shaw of Orangevale has twice been nominated for James Beard's "best food blog" award, while Georgeanne Brennan of Winters was a James Beard finalist for her cookbooks "POTAGER: Fresh Garden Cooking in the French Style" and "The Glass Pantry; Preserving Flavors." Her cooking memoir "The Food and Flavors of Haute Provence" was a James Beard winner in 1998 for "best international cookbook." Elaine Corn (currently of Capital Public Radio) won a James Beard award in 1994 for "Now You're Cooking: Everything a Beginner Needs to Know to Start Cooking Today."

Back to the present, here's the full list of the 2013 James Beard Award Foundation Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists.


Critics' notebook: Sac a fine place for food -- and reading about food

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