Here are SF’s 2022 James Beard Award semifinalists

The James Beard Foundation announced its 2022 Restaurant and Chef Awards semifinalists Wednesday, ahead of the much-anticipated return of its prestigious James Beard Awards ceremony – the first in two years.

Bay Area chefs and restaurants stake their claim in almost every major category, vying for top honors in the nation’s most celebrated awards ceremony that recognizes exceptional talent across a highly competitive culinary landscape from coast to coast.

Winners will be recognized at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony June 13 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. It’s the first in-person event since the foundation broadcast its ceremony live via Twitter in 2020 and instead recognized past winners due to the pandemic’s heavy impact on the restaurant industry. Established in 1991, the James Beard Foundation’s Restaurant and Chef Awards is one of five separate Awards recognition programs, which also includes books, broadcast media, journalism and leadership.

Look for upcoming announcements for Restaurant and Chef Awards nominees, honorees for Leadership, Lifetime Achievement Award, and Humanitarian of the Year Awards to be revealed March 16 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Nominees for the James Beard Foundation Media Awards are slated for April 27 in New York City.

Without further ado, here are the nominees defining some of the Bay Area’s sharpest knives in nine categories, including “Best Chef: California,” with eight chefs from San Francisco represented:

Outstanding Restaurateur
Willy Ng, Koi Palace, Dragon Beaux and Palette Tea House, San Francisco


Outstanding Chef
Reem Assil, Reem’s, Oakland and San Francisco

Outstanding Restaurant
It is not

Emerging Chef
Crystal Wahpepah, Wahpepah’s Kitchen, Oakland
David Yoshimura, Nisei, San Francisco

Best New Restaurant
ABACÁ, San Francisco
Horn Barbecue, Oakland

Outstanding Pastry Chef
It is not

Outstanding Baker
Clement Hsu, Katherine Campecino-Wong and James Wong, Breadbelly, San Francisco

Outstanding Hospitality (Presented by American Airlines)
House of Prime Rib, San Francisco

Outstanding Wine Program
The Punchdown, Oakland

Outstanding Bar Program
Friends and Family, Oakland

Best Chef: California
Sylvan Mishima Brackett, Rintaro, San Francisco
Val M. Cantu, Californios, San Francisco
Srijith Gopinathan, Ettan, Palo Alto
Brandon Jew, Mister Jiu’s, San Francisco
Heena Patel, Besharam, San Francisco
Melissa Perello, Octavia, San Francisco
James Syhabout, Commis, Oakland
Pim Techamuanvivit, Nari, San Francisco

Leave a Comment