Image courtesy of the James Beard Foundation.

What? It's James Beard season again?

Today the James Beard Foundation announced its long list of semifinalists. On March 18, this list gets winnowed down to actual nominees. The actual awards ceremony happens May 5.

A few years back, the biggest culinary honor in the land started teasing out additional interest (and shining a light on more chefs and restaurants) by releasing this preliminary semifinalist list. And it's a pretty good showing for the home team this year, with plenty of familiar names contending for the national awards like Best New Restaurant and Outstanding  Chef. The Best Chef Northwest category also has some welcome new arrivals.

Here's the full list of Washington contenders.

Best New Restaurant

Bar Sajor

Outstanding Bar Program


Outstanding Chef

John Sundstrom, Lark

Rising Star Chef of the Year

Chris Weber, the Herbfarm
Blaine Wetzel, Willows Inn

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Neil Roberston, Crumble and Flake

Outstanding Restaurant


Outstanding Restaurateur

Rick and Ann Yoder, Wild Ginger

Outstanding Service

Cafe Juanita

And, just for kicks, here's the entire Best Chef Northwest category:

Eric Donnelly, RockCreek
Renee Erickson, The Whale Wins
Jason Franey, Canlis
Nathan Lockwood, Altura
Brendan McGill, Hitchcock
Dustin Ronspies, Art of the Table

Ethan Stowell, Staple and Fancy
Jason Stratton, Spinasse 
Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule
Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton, Ox, Portland
James Honaker, Bistro Enzo, Billings, Montana
Joe Kim, 5 Fusion and Sushi Bar, Bend, Oregon
Richard Langston, Café Vicino, Boise
Trent Pierce, Roe, Portland
Naomi Pomeroy, Beast, Portland
Adam Sappington, The Country Cat, Portland
Chris Ainsworth, Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen, Walla Walla
Andy Blanton, Cafe Kandahar, Whitefish, Montana
Cathy Whims, Nostrana, Portland
Justin Woodward, Castagna, Portland




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