Of the annual awards in 59 categories to be presented May 6 when the James Beard Foundation announces winners at New York's Avery Fisher Hall, L.A. chefs received only four nominations.
Four out of 59, and two of them are included in the same nomination. Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, who co-own Animal and Son of a Gun, are nominated for Best Chef West. And Suzanne Goin of Lucques and Nancy Silverton of Pizzeria Mozza are competing for Outstanding Chef. Which prompts the question that comes up every year among L.A. fooderati: Are Southern California chefs overlooked?
The long list of first-round nominations always include plenty of L.A. nods, but by the time the short list is announced, only a few names (and often the same ones as the year before) show up.
Actual winners? Well, nobody from L.A. won in any category in 2011, and last year only Matt Molina of Pizzeria Mozza won, for Best Chef Pacific, and Wolfgang Puck received a lifetime achievement award.