James Beard Foundation Award Semifinalist: Tim and Nancy Cushman

With the hopes of becoming a musician, Tim Cushman, moved to California after earning his Bachelors degree from Berklee College of Music. Like many aspiring musicians, he took a job at a restaurant and there he would begin his culinary career. Throughout next 30 years, Cushman spent his time traveling the world and cooking in restaurants in Japan, France, Thailand, Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, and Taiwan. After his stint all over the world he came back home and in 2007 he and his wife Nancy, opened up O Ya.

Since opening the restaurant, they have received numerous accolades, including being named as the #1 new restaurant in the United States (2008) by The New York Times food critic Frank Bruni. Cushman has received praised by numerous publications such as Food & Wine Magazine, Bon Appetit and Details magazines, recognizing O Ya as one of the Top 10 Sushi Restaurants in the U.S. In 2012, Cushman was given the James Beard award for Best Chef Northeast. Since then, Cushman and his wife Nancy have opened two more restaurants: Roof at Park South in New York in 2014 and izakaya style Hojoko in Boston earlier this year.

Nomination: Outstanding Wine Program (O Ya)

For more information on the 2017 James Beard Foundation Awards Semifinalists, click here.