Best New Restaurant and Best Chef: California / Mei Lin
What do a family-owned Chinese restaurant and a Wolfgang Puck institution have in common? Chef-owner Mei Lin. For her solo debut, Lin pulls from both her family’s restaurant and her fine dining chops to craft a personal yet whimsical menu, where hybrid dishes like mapo tofu lasagna and tom yum chicharron shine. This is the first time Lin has been nominated for a James Beard Award — and she’s nominated in two categories.
Bonus: On March 23, Mei Lin is hosting a special Women of Food dinner at Nightshade featuring never before-seen dishes in honor of legendary chef Nancy Silverton.