Here are the 2022 James Beard Awards finalists for New England


Find out which of your favorite restaurants made the cut.

Orfano’s main dining hall in Boston, shown before the pandemic. It reopens on November 19.

The James Beard Foundation has announced its nominees for the 2022 finalists for the James Beard Awards, one of the most prestigious awards a restaurant or chef can win.

The non-profit organization celebrates restaurants and chefs across the country in many different categories, from top chef for each region of the country to nationally outstanding restaurateur.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Chicago on June 13.

While few of the semi-finalist restaurants in Massachusetts have made it to the finalist round, we can still look for other New England nominees who could still win gold.

Here are the New England nominees in each category:

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

Vien Dobui, CÔNG TỬ BỘT, Portland, ME – This Portland staple is a Vietnamese restaurant that offers a wide variety of Vietnamese dishes, both spicy and mild, omnivorous and vegan.

Orfano’s main dining hall in Boston, shown before the pandemic. It reopens on November 19.

Tiffani Faison, Orfano, Boston, MA – Located in the Fenway neighborhood, Orfano serves up modern Italian dishes like artisan pastas and steaks. The restaurant has a decadent atmosphere with golden chandeliers.

Courtney Loreg, Woodford Food and Beverage, Portland, ME – Woodford Food & Beverage offers American cuisine largely inspired by New England. You’ll find great steaks and burgers here, as well as appetizing apps.

Nisachon Morgan, Saap, Randolph, Vermont – Saap offers traditional Thai dishes mainly from the Isaan region in northern Thailand. They’re cooked to order using a wood-fired grill and bamboo rice steamers, and as a bonus, the restaurant is located in the historic Kimball House.

Damian Sansonetti, Chaval, Portland, ME – Chaval concocts Spanish and French cuisine, offering both starters and small plates. You’ll find everything from Spanish cured ham to coq au vin.

Best New Restaurant

Downwind, Portland, ME – If you like freshly made pasta, Leeward is the place for you. Their Italian-inspired dishes can be made gluten-free, and they even have a pasta shop in case you can’t get enough of their homemade pasta.

Outstanding Baker

Atsuko Fujimoto, Norimoto Bakery, Portland, ME – Norimoto Bakery offers fresh handmade baked goods. They have a rotating seasonal menu based on ingredients that are at their peak at that time of the season.

Outstanding Wine Program

Lauren Friel, owner of Rebel Rebel Wine Bar, in Somerville, Mass., stands for a portrait at the wine bar, Thursday, April 2, 2020. – (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Rebel Rebel, Somerville, MY – Named after the classic song by David Bowie, the attitude of this wine bar is exactly what the name suggests. Serving natural wine, the bar makes no apologies for its progressive values.

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