Sunday, April 29, 2007

James Beard Awards Await

Roughly the dining out equivalent of The Academy Awards, The James Beard Foundation annual awards ceremony takes place Monday, May 7, at the Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. San Francisco's talented Traci Des Jardins of Jardineire, Roland Passot of La Folie, Craig Stoll of Delfina, Michael Tusk of Quince, and Douglas Keane of Cyrus in Healdsburg, Ca., are the five nominees for Best Chef: Pacific. Go to for the complete list, but here's a partial list of national nominees:

-- Outstanding Restaurant: Boulevard, San Francisco; Frontera Grill, Chicago; Magnolia Grill, Durham, N.C., Picholine, New York; Spiaggia, Chicago.
-- Best New Restaurant: A Voce, New York City; Chochon, New Orleans; Cut, Beverly Hills, Calif; L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, New York City; Momofuku Ssam Bar, New York City; Restaurant Guy Savoy, Las Vegas.
-- Outstanding Restaurateur: Thomas Keller, The French Laundry, Yountville, Calif; Keith McNally, Balthazar, New York City; Richard Melman, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (R.J. Grunts, Wildfire, Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!), Chicago; Drew Nieporent, Myriad Restaurant Group (Tribeca Grill, Nobu, Rubicon), New York City; Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jean Georges restaurant, New York City.
-- Outstanding Chef: Tom Colicchio, Craft, New York City; Lee Hefter, Spago, Beverly Hills, Calif.; Jean Joho, Everest, Chicago; Paul Kahan, Blackbird, Chicago; Michel Richard, Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington, D.C.
-- Rising Star Chef: Nate Appleman, A16, San Francisco; Graham Elliot Bowles, Avenues at The Peninsula Hotel, Philadelphia; David Chang, Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York; Patrick Connelly, Radius, Boston; Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park, New York City.

IN THE NEWS: The Mercury News' Aleta Watson awards three stars in her review of Osteria, 247 Hamilton Ave., at Ramona, Palo Alto., while Steven Chae eats at Chef Ko Chinese Cuisine, 876 W. Hamilton Ave. (near Darryl Drive), Campbell. ... Meanwhile, Watson points readers of the Merc's food blog Belly Full ( to her former colleague David Plotnikoff's expansive review of the area's sushi joints at ... Blogger explores the popularity of In-N-Out Burgers and hips readers to: Nikko's Cafe Mexican Grill, 408 El Camino Real, Redwood City; and Little Belmont Café, 232 Harbor Blvd, Belmont ... Pho Hoa Binh, 756 Woodside Road in Redwood City is reviewed by blogger ... Muchos Mexican restaurant in downtown San Jose will get an expanded menu thanks to new ownership, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal reports. ... Blogger raves about Patxi's Chicago Pizza, in Palo Alto and San Francisco. ... Blogger barks at the Hungry Hound and raves about the deep fried corn on the cob at Jonathan's Fish and Chips.