Awards season for California’s best restaurants (some aren’t far from home)

Six Test Kitchen in Paso Robles was recently included in the Michelin Guide — one of the most prestigious awards for a restaurant. Photo via

published on March 21, 2022 – 11:13 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

The prestigious James Beard Foundation restaurant and chef award nominees were recently announced, recognizing exceptional talent in the culinary world — and California was well represented.

In the category of Outstanding Chef, one of the five nominees is Reem Assil of Reem’s in Oakland and San Francisco, specializing in Arab street food.

For the Emerging Chef category, Crystal Wahpepah of Wahpepah’s Kitchen in Oakland is a nominee specializing in Native American food.

For Best New Restaurant, nominees include Angry Egret Dinette making street food in Los Angeles and Horn BBQ in Oakland.

For Outstanding Pastry Chef, Margarita Manzke of French bakery République in Los Angeles is nominated.

In the Best Chefs category by region, six California chefs are up for the distinction:

Brandon Jew, Mister Jiu’s, San Francisco

Bryant Ng, Cassia, Santa Monica, CA

Sarintip “Jazz” Singsanong, Jitlada, Los Angeles

James Syhabout, Commis, Oakland, CA

Pim Techamuanvivit, Nari, San Francisco

The James Beard Awards ceremony will be held in June.

Just as prestigious as a James Beard Award in the world of fine dining, a star in the Michelin Guide can also catapult the success of a restaurant. Back in August 2021, the Michelin Guide (from the same company that makes the tires) announced a handful of Central Coast restaurants that will be included in the guide.

A few of them are located in familiar stopovers for Central Valley residents on a beach trip. Six Test Kitchen in Paso Robles features a multi-course tasting menu inspired by the seasons of the Central Coast. The Restaurant at Justin, located in the Justin Winery in Paso Robles, features a California-centric menu.

In San Luis Obispo, Ox + Anchor is a steakhouse set on the grounds of Hotel San Luis Obispo.

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