S.F. Bay Area restaurants, chefs dominate among James Beard Award finalists

The Bay Area is once again taking center stage on the annual list of James Beard Award finalists, with 15 local restaurants, chefs, sommeliers and industry professionals earning the prestigious nod.

The awards span categories from outstanding restaurant service to bar program to best new restaurant.

The list of finalists was shaved down from among more than 20,000 entries across 21 categories. Of those, 29 entries from the Bay Area made the first cut on a list of semifinalists released last month.…