Some of the most prestigious awards in the food industry are bestowed by the James Beard Foundation, a national not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to celebrating and nurturing America’s food culture.

Today, the James Beard Foundation released its list of semifinalists for the 27th annual James Beard Foundation Awards. In the Outstanding Baker and Outstanding Pastry Chef categories, 20 semifinalists from across the country have been selected. To qualify for the award, the nominee must prepare breads, pastries, or desserts in a retail bakery (for bakers) or restaurant setting (for pastry chefs) and have been a baker or pastry chef for at least five years.

The winners of the 2017 James Beard Foundation Awards will be announced at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on Monday, May 1, 2017. There are no cash prizes, but the JBF Award winners will receive a certificate and a medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia, as well as the honor and prestige that comes with the distinctions.

2017 Semifinalists for Outstanding Baker

  • Evan Andres, Columbia City Bakery, Seattle
  • Dianna Daoheung, Black Seed Bagels, NYC
  • Elizabeth Degener, Enfin Farms, Cape May, NJ
  • Evrim Dogu, Sub Rosa Bakery, Richmond, VA
  • Tova du Plessis, Essen Bakery, Philadelphia
  • Ken Forkish, Ken’s Artisan Bakery, Portland, OR
  • Mark Furstenberg, Bread Furst, Washington, D.C.
  • Michelle Gayer, Salty Tart, Minneapolis
  • Zachary Golper, Bien Cuit, Brooklyn, NY
  • Phoebe Lawless, Scratch, Durham, NC
  • Belinda Leong and Michel Suas, B. Patisserie, San Francisco
  • Lisa Ludwinski, Sister Pie, Detroit
  • Sarah O’Brien, Little Tart, Atlanta
  • Taylor Petrehn, 1900 Barker, Lawrence, KS
  • Alex Phaneuf and Or Amsalam, Lodge Bread Co., Los Angeles
  • Alison Pray, Standard Baking Co., Portland, ME
  • Zak Stern, Zak the Baker, Miami
  • Lionel Vatinet, La Farm Bakery, Cary, NC
  • Greg Wade, Publican Quality Bread, Chicago
  • Carlyle Watt, Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop, Anchorage, AK


2017 Semifinalists for Outstanding Pastry Chef

  • Marc Aumont, Gabriel Kreuther, NYC
  • Melissa Chou, Mister Jiu’s, San Francisco
  • Kelly Fields, Willa Jean, New Orleans
  • Aya Fukai, Maple & Ash, Chicago
  • Meg Galus, Boka, Chicago
  • Megan Garrelts, Rye, Leawood, KS
  • Maggie Huff, FT33, Dallas
  • Maura Kilpatrick, Oleana, Cambridge, MA
  • Ilma Lopez, Piccolo, Portland, ME
  • Margarita Manzke, République, Los Angeles
  • Dolester Miles, Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, AL
  • Nick Muncy, Coi, San Francisco
  • Kristen Murray, Måurice, Portland, OR
  • Ghaya Oliveira, Daniel, NYC
  • Pat O’Malley, Hungry Pigeon, Philadelphia
  • Casey Renee, Whitfield, Pittsburgh
  • Laura Sawicki, Launderette, Austin
  • Shannon Swindle, Craft, Los Angeles
  • Cynthia Wong, Butcher & Bee, Charleston, SC
  • Diane Yang, Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis