It was almost inevitable given how paltry the number of local finalists were, but the James Beard Awards were on Monday — the chef and restaurant portion of the awards, which span multiple nights — and SF got nothin', once again.

San Francisco perhaps got too comfortable as a darling of the food world in the last decade, and we should be gracious and glad to have other cities share the spotlight. But it always stings a little bit, given how much good and creative food there continues to be here, when even the California-focused chef category manages to snub SF two years in a row.

At the James Beard Foundation Awards, which were handed out in Chicago on Monday night, the handful of Bay Area finalists did not end up scoring an award in any category. Neither Geoff Davis of Oakland’s Burdell, nor Rogelio Garcia of Calistoga’s Auro took the Best Chef: California award — that went to Lord Maynard Llera of Filipino spot Kuya Lord in Los Angeles. (Buu "Billy" Ngo of Sacramento's Kru also did not win.)

SF's Pacific Cocktail Haven, which has enjoyed plenty of accolades in the last decade, similarly failed to score the Outstanding Bar prize — which went to Jewel of the South in New Orleans. And while The Morris, deservedly, was a finalist this year for Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program, that award went to Lula Drake Wine Parlour in Columbia, South Carolina.

One bright spot for SF: Legacy Burmese restaurant Mandalay took home one of the America's Classics honors, which we already knew was happening.

See the full list of 2024 award winners here.

We don't know who is on the committee that does the specific vetting and nominating of Bay Area chefs and restaurants, or how the process works in choosing finalists and winners. But we do know the James Beard Foundation has gone through a reckoning of sorts in recent years, and has made efforts to recognize a more diverse selection of chefs and restaurants, and to expand its reach outside of just the country's major cities.

On the foundation's board of directors currently are several Bay Area chefs including Tanya Holland (Brown Sugar Kitchen), Emily Lucchetti (Waterbar), Anthony Myint (The Perennial, Mission Chinese Food), and formerly local chef Elizabeth Falkner, who is now based in Los Angeles.

The Beard Awards have come to be known as the Oscars of the Food World, but it's not clear how much impact they actually have on the fate of restaurants and on chefs' careers — compared to, say, a star or two in the Michelin Guide.

The awards have been given out since 1991, and in the past couple of decades, a slew of San Francisco and Bay Area restaurants and chefs have received them. These include Brandon Jew of Mister Jiu's (Best Chef: California, 2022); Benu (Chef Corey Lee, Best Chef: West, 2017; Outstanding Wine Program, 2019); Dominque Crenn of Atelier Crenn (Best Chef: West, 2018); The Slanted Door (Outstanding Restaurant, 2014); Quince (Chef Michael Tusk, Best Chef: Pacific in 2011); Boulevard (Outstanding Restaurant, 2012); Zuni Cafe (Outstanding Service, 2019); State Bird Provisions (Best New Restaurant, 2013; Best Chef: West for Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, 2017); Delfina (Craig Stoll, Best Chef: Pacific, 2008); A16 (Outstanding Wine Program James Beard Award, 2015); Bar Agricole (Outstanding Bar Program, 2019); b. patisserie (Belinda Leong and Michel Suas, Best Baker, 2018); La Taqueria (America's Classic Award, 2017); and Yank Sing (America's Classic Award, 2009).