Here are Boston’s 2016 James Beard Foundation Finalists

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Karen Akunowicz

Myers + Chang executive chef Karen Akunowicz / Photo provided by The Food Network for “Myers + Chang Chef to Battle Bobby Flay”

Karen Akunowicz has another chance to attend the James Beard Foundation Awards Gala in Chicago this year: Myers + Chang’s executive chef is a finalist for Best Chef: Northeast for the second year in a row. She had to miss the ceremony last spring, as she had just flown out to California to compete on season 13 of Top Chef.

The James Beard Foundation announced all the Restaurant and Chef Award nominees this afternoon, as well as the Book, Broadcast, and Journalism finalists. New England had a strong showing among semifinalists, but not everyone gets a golden ticket to Chicago this spring.

The JBF would have made a statement on the craft beer revolution with a nod to Row 34, which was up for Best Bar Program, but it did not. Todd Maul’s science-driven cocktail program won’t earn that title, either. It’s also not Irene Li’s (Mei Mei) year for Rising Star Chef, nor will Oleana’s Ana Sortun claim the title of Outstanding Chef.

Shepard won’t be the JBF’s Best New Restaurant of the year, but co-owner and chef Susan Regis joins Akunowicz as a Best Chef: Northeast nominee. Michael Mina, a San Francisco-based chef who’s opening his Japanese pub Pabu in Boston this fall, is up for Outstanding Restaurateur.

In the journalism world, Boston magazine’s regular restaurant critic, Corby Kummer, earned a nod for his “Edible Life” column in the New Republic.

The full list of finalists is online. Check out New England’s representation below:

Book Awards: American

The Beetlebung Farm Cookbook, by Chris Fischer, Martha’s Vineyard, MA

Best Chef: Northeast

Greater Boston nominees:

Outside greater Boston:

Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Outstanding Baker

Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/restaurants/2016/03/15/james-beard-award-finalists-announced-3/