Cyrus, Cowgirls and Zoi

Just in case we haven’t gushed about our local chefs quite enough this year, the James Beard Foundation has kindly volunteered to put that final cherry on the congratulatory sundae of foodie fete-ing with its annual award nominations. Unimpressed? Let’s just say anyone interested in the food world considers a Beard nomination a sort of culinary Academy Award complete with its own red carpet show, medals and chef-lebrity announcers.

And, as usual, the Bay Area has a heaping helping of nominees just itching for their moment in the spotlight. In the book department, my disgustingly talented pal, Heidi Swanson of gets a nod for Super Natural Cooking, along with Laura Werlin’s Cheese Essentials. SF Weekly writer Eliza Strickland, and SF’s Jane Goldman of also get props, along with the PD’s own Michele Anna Jordan whose radio show, Mouthful on KRCB, was nominated.

But the big ticket draws, of course, are the chefs and restaurants. SF’s Boulevard and Slanted Door have been tapped for outstanding restaurant; Nate Appleman of A-16 (SF) for rising young chef; Nicole Plue of Redd (Yountville) and Elisabeth Prueitt of Tartine (SF) for Pastry Chef; Sebastopol’s Merry Edwards Wines for Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional Award; Terra (St. Helena) for Service; and finally, Cyrus’ Douglas Keane (Healdsburg), David Kinch of Manresa (Los Gatos), Craig Stoll of Delfina (SF) and Michael Tusk of Quince (SF) for Best Pacific Chefs.

The awards will be announced June 6-8 in New York. Click here for more details.

In other news, Cyrus continues its quest for world domination with the announced addition of a $300,000 bakery next to their Healdsburg Restaurant. Owners Doug Keane and Nick Peyton want to do their own thing, offering up several additional flavors to their bread lineup. Can you say Bouchon-envy? Watch out Thomas. Out will be Petaluma’s Della Fattoria who’ve currently been handling the restaurant’s bread needs.

There’s even more reason to suss out Petaluma’s Foundry Wharf Business Park: Cowgirl Creamery! In addition to Aqus Cafe, Sonoma Portworks and Sweetwater Distillers, the Cowgirls will now be producing several types of cheese at the Petaluma location. Word’s still out on when the shop will open for tastings and tours (hopefully later this summer), but it’s a step in the right direction for what’s becoming a mini-artisinal gulch on Petaluma’s south side.

Finally, a embarassed DUH on not giving earlier props to Zoi Antonitsas (formerly of Bovolo and Zazu) for her stint on Top Chef. Word is that she’s back from her moment in the spotlight and moonlighting at Zazu (and, or Bovolo) over the next few weeks. So, you can high-five her yourself.