2015 James Beard Semifinalists Announced

Ana Sortun, Mei Mei, Strip-T's, and several Massachusetts standouts made the cut.

james beard

From left: Michael Scelfo, Karen Akunowicz, Tim Maslow.

The James Beard Foundation announced their semifinalists for the 2015 Restaurant and Chef Award categories today and Massachusetts bakers, chefs, restaurants, and rising stars are all well represented. Michael Scelfo’s Alden & Harlow in Harvard Square was nominated for Best New Restaurant, Oleana’s Ana Sortun is up for Outstanding Chef, and Island Creek Oyster Bar’s Garrett Harker is trying to take home the award that Barbara Lynch took home last year, Best Restaurateur.

There were some familiar names is several categories including Joanne Chang for Outstanding Pastry Chef, The Hawthorne for Outstanding Bar Program, and Jim Koch for Outstanding Beer Professional. But there were also plenty of pleasant surprises like Paul and Tim Maslow’s Watertown spot, Strip-T’s, being nominated for Outstanding Service, Max Hull and Irene Li (Mei Mei) getting a nod for Rising Star, and Michael Pagliarini (Giulia) getting recognition in the Best Chef Northeast Category.

The 2015 James Beard Awards gala will be held at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on Monday, May 4. See below for a full list of Massachusetts nominees.

Best New Restaurant

  • Alden & Harlow

Outstanding Pastry Chef

  • Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery + Cafe, Boston
  • Abe Faber and Christy Timon, Clear Flour Bakery, Brookline
  • Cheryl Maffei and Jonathan Stevens, Hungry Ghost, Northampton

Outstanding Bar Program

  • The Hawthorne, Boston

Outstanding Chef

  • Ana Sortun, Oleana, Cambridge

Outstanding Pastry Chef

  • Maura Kilpatrick, Oleana, Cambridge

Outstanding Restaurateur

  • Garrett Harker, Boston (Island Creek Oyster Bar, Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks, the Hawthorne, and others)
  • Michael Leviton, Lumière, Newton

Outstanding Service

  • Strip T’s, Watertown

Outstanding Wine Program

  • Troquet, Boston

Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional

  • Jim Koch, The Boston Beer Company, Boston
  • Rob Tod, Allagash Brewing Company, Portland

Rising Star of the Year

  • Max Hull and Irene Li, Mei Mei, Boston

Best Chef Northeast

  • Karen Akunowicz, Myers + Chang, Boston
  • Alex Crabb, Asta, Boston
  • Barry Maiden, Hungry Mother, Cambridge
  • Tim Maslow, Ribelle, Brookline
  • Michael Pagliarini, Giulia, Cambridge
  • Cassie Piuma, Sarma, Somerville