Check out who sizzles and shines in the District’s culinary scene.

Presented by Capital One, the 2020 James Beard Foundation Awards is the 30th anniversary of the prestigious award that recognizes chefs, restaurants, journalists, and humanitarians in the food and beverage industry in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

The James Beard Award is presented annually to chefs, bakers, and restaurants for culinary achievement, journalism, media, and humanitarian efforts, as well as for leadership and restaurant design. James Beard Award-winning chefs include Jose Andres, Emeril Lagasse, Joel Robuchon, Mario Batali, Ina Garten, and Beverly Kim.

Changes and additions to the 2020 awards include a Best Chef: California and a Best Chef: Texas. There’s also a new Northwest and Pacific category, which includes Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington state. These changes were implemented in order to take into consideration the culinary trends and demographics in different areas of the country.

The Best Chef awards are categorized by region of the country such as Best Chef: Great Lakes, Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA), Best Chef: Midwest, and Best Chef: New York State.

From the full list of semifinalists, the roster goes down to five in each category, which will be announced on March 25 in Philadelphia. Winners are then announced at the award gala on May 4 in Chicago.

Winners are determined by a secret ballot that’s voted on by members of the Restaurant and Chef Award Committee, appointed judges, and previous winners.

Washington, D.C. 2020 James Beard Award Semifinalists 

Best New Restaurant

  • Rooster & Owl
  • Thamee

Outstanding Chef


The Original, Chef in Dupont ✨

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  • Ann Cashion, Johnny’s Half Shell, Washington, D.C.
  • Vikram Sunderam, Rasika, Washington, D.C.

Outstanding Hospitality

  • Marcel’s, Washington, D.C.

Outstanding Restaurant

  • Komi, Washington, D.C.

Outstanding Restaurateur  

  • Ruth Gresser, Pizzeria Paradiso, Washington, D.C.

Outstanding Wine Program

  • Flight Wine Bar, Washington, D.C.

Rising Star Chef of the Year

  • Angel Barreto, Anju, Washington, D.C.
  • Daniela Moreira, Timber Pizza Co., Washington, D.C.
  • Paola Velez, Kith/Kin, Washington, D.C.

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic

  • Victor Albisu, Poca Madre, Washington, D.C.
  • Amy Brandwein, Centrolina, Washington, D.C.
  • Danny Lee, Anju, Washington, D.C.
  • Cagla Onal-Urel, Green Almond Pantry, Washington, D.C.
  • Peter Prime, Cane, Washington, D.C.
  • Jon Sybert, Tail Up Goat, Washington, D.C.

With a mission to celebrate and honor chefs and food industry professionals, the James Beard Foundation is named for chef, cookbook author, TV personality, and teacher James Andrew Beard.

Have you been to any of these James Beard-nominated restaurants? Let us know in the comments.