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On Monday, March 21 beginning at 11:30 am, the James Beard Foundation (Twitter feed here) announced the finalists for the 2011 awards from Portland, Oregon.

These are, of course, the most important honors in the dining universe. (The journalism awards are pretty darn important too).

The awards will be announced at ceremonies on May 6 (journalism) and May 9 (restaurants and chefs). Both events are in New York City.

An early award announced last week: Seattle’s own FareStart is James Beard’s 2011 Humanitarian of the Year.

Below is the list of locals who made it to the final round.

Cooking, Recipes, or Instruction
Local writer and Saveur contributor Sara Dickerman is a finalist, sharing the nomination with Harris Salat and Lonnée Hamilton.

Best Chef Northwest
Matt Dillon (Sitka and Spruce)
Ethan Stowell (Staple and Fancy Mercantile)
Christopher Israel (Gruner in Portland)
Andy Ricker (Pok Pok in Portland)
Cathy Whims (Nostrana in Portland)

Outstanding Restaurateur
Tom Douglas

Outstanding Service

Local candidates were semifinalists in the categories of Best New Restaurant, Rising Star Chef of the Year, Best Wine Service, Outstanding Chef, and Outstanding Restaurant but did not make the cut to the finalist round this year. See the full list of local semifinalists here.

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