Josh Brasted
Dakar NOLA is a James Beard Award finalist for Best New Restaurant.
CNN  — 

A New Orleans restaurant featuring a modern Senegalese tasting menu and an Ethiopia-born chef who studied psychology before turning to a culinary career are among the restaurants and chefs named as finalists for the coveted James Beard Awards.

The finalists for the Restaurant and Chef Awards were announced Wednesday in Washington, DC. The winners will be announced on June 10 during a ceremony at the Lyric Opera in Chicago.

In the Emerging Chef category, Fariyal Abdullahi, executive chef at Hav & Mar in New York, is among the five finalists. After earning a degree in psychology, Abdullahi chose a new path that led to the Culinary Institute of America and Noma in Copenhagen before eventually joining Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s seafood-focused Hav & Mar.

Abdullahi is joined in the category by another chef with a winding road to a cooking career. Masako Morishita moved to Washington, DC to be a cheerleader for the Washington Commanders. Now the emerging chef is bringing Japanese comfort food to diners at Perry’s.

Andy Thomas Lee
Fariyal Abdullahi, executive chef at Hav & Mar in New York, is among the five finalists in the Emerging Chef category.

In the Best New Restaurant category, finalist Dakar NOLA blends the ingredients of New Orleans with flavors drawn from Chef Serigne Mbaye’s West African roots on a seasonal, seven-course pescatarian menu.

This year’s Outstanding Chef finalists include Sarah Minnick, of Lovely’s Fifty Fifty in Portland, Oregon, and Dean Neff, of Seabird in Wilmington, North Carolina.

In the Outstanding Restaurant category, two finalists hail from Texas: West Texas barbecue joint Convenience West in Marfa and Mixtli in San Antonio, described as a “progressive Mexican culinaria.”

The nonprofit James Beard Foundation was established more than 30 years ago, shortly after “pioneer foodie” James Beard’s death, “to celebrate, support and elevate the people behind America’s food culture.”

Beard was the host of “I Love to Eat,” the first food program on network television in 1946 and was called the “Dean of American Cookery” by The New York Times in 1954.

The foundation, which has faced controversy in recent years, in 2022 introduced new policies and procedures and a new code of ethics sparked by allegations of chefs’ bad behavior and a lack of diversity.

The first awards ceremony was held in 1991.

2024 Restaurant and Chef Awards finalists

Outstanding Restaurateur

·       Mamba Hamissi and Nadia Nijimbere, Baobab Fare, Detroit, MI

·       Quynh-Vy and Yenvy Pham, Phở Bắc Súp Shop, Phởcific Standard Time, and The Boat, Seattle, WA

·       Chris Viaud, Greenleaf, Ansanm, and Pavilion, Milford and Wolfeboro, NH

·       Hollis Wells Silverman, Eastern Point Collective (The Duck & The Peach, La Collina, The Wells, and others), Washington, D.C.

·       Erika Whitaker and Kelly Whitaker, ID EST (The Wolf’s Tailor, BRUTØ, Basta, and others), Boulder, CO

Outstanding Chef

·       Sarah Minnick, Lovely’s Fifty Fifty, Portland, OR

·       Dean Neff, Seabird, Wilmington, NC

·       Michael Rafidi, Albi, Washington, D.C.

·       Renee Touponce, The Port of Call, Mystic, CT

·       David Uygur, Lucia, Dallas, TX

Scott Suchman/The Washington Post/Getty Images
Chef Michael Rafidi of Albi Restaurant in Washington, DC, is a finalist for Outstanding Chef.

Outstanding Restaurant

·       The Compound, Santa Fe, NM

·       Convenience West, Marfa, TX

·       Langbaan, Portland, OR

·       Mixtli, San Antonio, TX

·       Vestige, Ocean Springs, MS

Justin Hamel/The New York Times/Redux
Convenience West in Marfa is one of two Texas restaurants in contention for the Outstanding Restaurant award.

Emerging Chef

·       Fariyal Abdullahi, Hav & Mar, New York, NY

·       Janet Becerra, Pancita, Seattle, WA

·       Nikko Cagalanan, Kultura, Charleston, SC

·       Ryan Fernandez, Southern Junction, Buffalo, NY

·       Masako Morishita, Perry’s, Washington, D.C.

Best New Restaurant

·       Bar Bacetto, Waitsburg, WA

·       Barbs-B-Q, Lockhart, TX

·       Chez Noir, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

·       Comfort Kitchen, Dorchester, MA

·       Dakar NOLA, New Orleans, LA

·       Hayward, McMinnville, OR

·       Kaya, Orlando, FL

·       Kisser, Nashville, TN

·       Oro by Nixta, Minneapolis, MN

·       Shan, Bozeman, MT

Outstanding Bakery

·       The Burque Bakehouse, Albuquerque, NM

·       Gusto Bread, Long Beach, CA

·       JinJu Patisserie, Portland, OR

·       Mel the Bakery, Hudson, NY

·       ZU Bakery, Portland, ME

Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker

·       Susan Bae, Moon Rabbit, Washington, D.C.

·       Jesus Brazon and Manuel Brazon, Caracas Bakery, Doral and Miami, FL

·       Atsuko Fujimoto, Norimoto Bakery, Portland, ME

·       Crystal Kass, Valentine, Phoenix, AZ

·       Anna Posey, Elske, Chicago, IL

Outstanding Hospitality

·       Crawford and Son, Raleigh, NC

·       Gemma, Dallas, TX

·       Lula Cafe, Chicago, IL

·       Melba’s, New York, NY

·       Woodford Food & Beverage, Portland, ME

Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program

·       Lula Drake Wine Parlour, Columbia, SC

·       The Morris, San Francisco, CA

·       Strong Water Anaheim, Anaheim, CA

·       Tail Up Goat, Washington, D.C.

·       Waxlight Bar à Vin, Buffalo, NY

Outstanding Bar

·       Barr Hill Cocktail Bar, Montpelier, VT

·       Clavel Mezcaleria, Baltimore, MD

·       Jewel of the South, New Orleans, LA

·       Las Ramblas, Brownsville, TX

·       Pacific Cocktail Haven, San Francisco, CA

Best Chefs (by region)

Best Chef: California

·       Geoff Davis, Burdell, Oakland, CA

·       Rogelio Garcia, Auro, Calistoga, CA

·       Lord Maynard Llera, Kuya Lord, Los Angeles, CA

·       Tara Monsod, Animae, San Diego, CA

·       Buu “Billy” Ngo, Kru, Sacramento, CA

Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH)

·       Vinnie Cimino, Cordelia, Cleveland, OHJose Salazar, Mita’s, Cincinnati, OH

·       Sujan Sarkar, Indienne, Chicago, IL

·       Hajime Sato, Sozai, Clawson, MI

·       Jenner Tomaska, Esmé, Chicago, IL

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (DC, DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)

·       Tony Conte, Inferno Pizzeria Napoletana, Darnestown, MD

·       Jesse Ito, Royal Sushi & Izakaya, Philadelphia, PA

·       Matt Kern, One Coastal, Fenwick Island, DE

·       Harley Peet, Bas Rouge, Easton, MD

·       Kevin Tien, Moon Rabbit, Washington, D.C.

Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)

·       Ann Ahmed, Khâluna, Minneapolis, MN

·       Rob Connoley, Bulrush, St. Louis, MO

·       Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite, EsterEv, Milwaukee, WI

·       Christina Nguyen, Hai Hai, Minneapolis, MN

·       Tim Nicholson, The Boiler Room, Omaha, NE

Best Chef: Mountain (CO, ID, MT, UT, WY)

·       Brandon Cunningham, Social Haus, Greenough, MT

·       Ali Sabbah, Mazza Cafe, Salt Lake City, UT

·       Matt Vawter, Rootstalk, Breckenridge, CO

·       Penelope Wong, Yuan Wonton, Denver, CO

·       Nick Zocco, Urban Hill, Salt Lake City, UT

Best Chef: New York State

·       Nasim Alikhani, Sofreh, Brooklyn, NY

·       Atsushi Kono, Kono, New York, NY

·       Chris Mauricio, Harana Market, Accord, NY

·       Charlie Mitchell, Clover Hill, Brooklyn, NY

·       Jeremy Salamon, Agi’s Counter, Brooklyn, NY

Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT)

·       Conor Dennehy, Talulla, Cambridge, MA

·       Maria Meza, Dolores, Providence, RI

·       David Standridge, The Shipwright’s Daughter, Mystic, CT

·       Jake Stevens, Leeward, Portland, ME

·       Cara Tobin, Honey Road, Burlington, VT

Best Chef: Northwest and Pacific (AK, HI, OR, WA)

·       Avery Adams, Matia Kitchen, Orcas Island, WA

·       Kristi Brown, Communion, Seattle, WA

·       Josh Dorcak, MÄS, Ashland, OR

·       Gregory Gourdet, kann, Portland, OR

·       Melissa Miranda, Musang, Seattle, WA

Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)

·       Jamie Davis, The Hackney, Washington, NC

·       Rod Lassiter and Parnass Savang, Talat Market, Atlanta, GA

·       James London, Chubby Fish, Charleston, SC

·       Robbie Robinson, City Limits Barbeque, West Columbia, SC

·       Paul Smith, 1010 Bridge, Charleston, WV

Best Chef: South (AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, PR)

·       Valerie Chang, Maty’s, Miami, FL

·       Hunter Evans, Elvie’s, Jackson, MS

·       Gabriel Hernandez, Verde Mesa, San Juan, PR

·       Carlos Portela, Orujo, San Juan, PR

·       Arvinder Vilkhu, Saffron, New Orleans, LA

Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, NM, NV, OK)

·       Rene Andrade, Bacanora, Phoenix, AZ

·       Jeff Chanchaleune, Ma Der Lao Kitchen, Oklahoma City, OK

·       Steve Kestler, Aroma Latin American Cocina, Henderson, NV

·       Steve Riley, Mesa Provisions, Albuquerque, NM

·       Eduardo Rodriguez, Zacatlán, Santa Fe, NM

Best Chef: Texas

·       Emmanuel Chavez, Tatemó, Houston, TX

·       Christopher Cullum, Cullum’s Attaboy, San Antonio, TX

·       Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel, Birdie’s, Austin, TX

·       Misti Norris, Petra & the Beast, Dallas, TX

·       Ana Liz Pulido, Ana Liz Taqueria, Mission, TX

See more James Beard Awards nominees.