Bracero among 4 local James Beard nominees

Bracero Cocina De Raiz, the nouveau Mexican restaurant opened in Little Italy last July by Baja Med chef Javier Plascencia, has been nominated for a 2016 James Beard award. It is one of four San Diego nominees announced Wednesday by the famed culinary institution.

The James Beard Awards are like the Oscars of the culinary world. The James Beard Foundation chose nominees in 21 categories from a field of 20,000 online entries submitted last fall. The 26th annual awards will be announced May 2 at the foundation’s headquarters in New York.

Bracero was nominated in the prestigious category of Best New Restaurant, joining high-profile spots like Alter in Miami, Kinship in Washington, D.C., and Cala in San Francisco.

Also new to the list this year is Polite Provisions, which was nominated in the Outstanding Bar Program category.

Multiple nominee William Bradley once again made the list of semifinalists for Best Chef: West. The founding chef at Addison, the fine-dining dinnerhouse at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar Resort in Carmel Valley, has been nominated four times.

Addison was also nominated for the fourth time in the Outstanding Wine Program category. The program is now overseen by wine director Melanie Kaman.

This year’s four nominations are double the number of last year’s local nominees.

Established in 1990, the James Beard Awards are the most-coveted culinary honors in America. The winners are chosen by an independent volunteer panel of more than 600 judges that include restaurant critics, food and wine editors, culinary educators, and past James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Award winners.

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Source: DiscoverSD