L.A. Cuisine Makes Strong Showing in James Beard Award Semifinalist Nominations

Bernhard Mairinger - H 2013

The “Oscars of the food world” recognize industry havens including Providence, Tar & Roses and newbie BierBeisl.

Twenty-eight-year-old Bernhard Mairinger, the Patina-trained chef who opened a small sanctum to Austrian cuisine in Beverly Hills a year ago called BierBeisl, has been nominated as a semifinalist for both best new restaurant and rising star chef by the James Beard Foundation. (His fellow Angeleno, Kris Yenbamroong of the Sunset Strip-based Thai spot Night+Market, joined him in the rising star chef category.) Final-round nominees for the awards, considered the Oscars of the food world, will be named Mar. 18. Winners are announced in New York City, at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, on May 6.

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BierBeisl – which draws the likes of Mel Brooks and Bette Midler for its refined take on creamy veal gulasch and schnitzel – shares the best new restaurant category with Santa Monica farm-to-table favorite Tar & Roses, whose chef Andrew Kirschner was nominated for best chef: West. (Other locals highlighted for best chef: West include Ricardo Zarate for Mo-Chica, David LeFevre for M.B. Post, John Rivera Sedlar for Rivera, Michael Cimarusti for Providence, Josef Centeno for Baco Mercat and Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo for Animal.)

Outstanding chef semifinalist nods went to Suzanne Goin of Lucques and Nancy Silverton of Pizzeria Mozza, while Melisse and Patina were recognized for outstanding restaurant. Additional categories with L.A. showings included outstanding pastry chef (Karen Hatfield of The Sycamore Kitchen), outstanding bar program (Rivera, The Varnish), outstanding service (Providence) and outstanding restaurateur (Sam Fox of True Food Kitchen, Piero Selvaggio of Valentino and Caroline Styne of Lucques).