By Nikita Richardson

This morning, the James Beard Foundation shared the list of semifinalists for the 30th annual James Beard Awards, highlighting some of the most talented, creative, and accomplished people working in food throughout the United States.

Last year, the foundation announced the biggest shake-up to the regional Best Chef categories since 2007, and this is the first year it will be in effect. California and Texas are now their own regions; Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington State have been combined into a new “Northwest & Pacific” region; Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming are now part of a new “Mountain” region; and New York City, once its own category, has now been combined with the rest of New York to form the “New York State” region.

Still, New York City is well-represented among this year’s nominees, with Sam Yoo’s Golden Diner making the Best New Restaurant nominees list; Existing Conditions and Brooklyn’s Leyenda making the cut for Outstanding Bar Program; and SriPraPhai landing among the Outstanding Restaurant nominees. Tune in on March 25 when the semifinalists list is narrowed down to this year’s finalists, and see who wins when the awards take place in Chicago on May 4.

Rising Star Chef of the Year
Robbie Felice, Viaggio Ristorante, Wayne, NJ

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