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Here Are NYC’s 2020 James Beard Awards Finalists

Xi’an Famous Foods’ Jason Wang, Lilia’s Missy Robbins and Atomix’s Junghyun Park all made the finalist list this year

A spread at Empellon Al Pastor in Midtown
A spread at Empellon Al Pastor in Midtown. Empellon chef Alex Stupak is a James Beard Award finalist for Best Chef: New York State
Alex Staniloff/Eater

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the James Beard Foundation has decided to move forward with the announcement of its awards finalists. The announcement was originally set to take place on March 25 but was pushed back due to the pandemic.

The award ceremony for restaurants and chefs — which was set to take place today in Chicago — has now been pushed back to September 25, and will still be held in Chicago.

For the first time this year, the New York awards encompass the entire state, and while the Oscars of the food world have a reputation of leaning toward men and fine-dining establishments, the organization has been working to change things up. This year’s finalists include include Lilia’s Missy Robbins, and Atomix’s Junghyun Park, and Xi’an Famous Foods’ Jason Wang. No New York nominations made it forward from the semifinal stage in the Outstanding Restaurant, Rising Star Chef, and Outstanding Bar Program categories. Here’s a list of the semifinalists from New York.

And below is who made the finalist list.

Outstanding Baker

Zachary Golper, Bien Cuit

Outstanding Chef

Missy Robbins, Lilia

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Natasha Pickowicz, Flora Bar
Miro Uskokovic, Gramercy Tavern

Outstanding Restaurateur

Alex Raij and Eder Montero (La Vara, Saint Julivert Fisherie, Txikito)
Jason Wang, Xi’an Famous Foods

Outstanding Wine Program


Design for Alternative Eating and Drinking Places

Stonehill Taylor, MCR/Morse Development and Aaron Sciandra, Connie at the TWA Hotel

Best Chef: New York State

Sean Gray, Momofuku Ko
Brooks Headley, Superiority Burger
Alex Stupak, Empellón
Junghyun Park, Atomix
Daniela Soto-Innes, Atla

Two men in pilots’ uniforms and aviator sunglasses  are in a small airplane bar with red carpeting.
TWA Hotel’s Connie cocktail lounge in a small airplane
Rico Cruz/Eater

Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Awards.