Tonight, chefs, writers, restaurateurs, and food industry folks of all sorts gathered together in Chicago for the James Beard Foundation Awards Gala. Tonight, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, an actor and all-around solid Instagram follow, hosted the ceremony in which some of the highest honors in the food world are bestowed.
If you recall, Seattle's own Edouardo Jordan, who just last week opened his second restaurant JuneBaby, was a finalist for Best Chef Northwest, as were Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi. Meanwhile, Canlis represented in two categories: Outstanding Wine Program and Rising Star Chef of the Year.
Sadly, Canlis executive chef Brady Williams didn't take home the Rising Star win this year. But! After several James Beard nominations over the years, Canlis won for Outstanding Wine Program. Owners Brian and Mark Canlis took the stage along with their director of wine and spirits, Nelson Daquip, to accept the restaurant's first-ever James Beard Award. “We're third generation restaurateurs of a 70-year-old restaurant. This is our tenth nomination and our first time on this stage,” said Mark Canlis, “And it feels so good!” Daquip, who hails from Hawaii, concluded the speech, “With gratitude, aloha, thank you.”
Congratulations to the whole Canlis team for bringing Seattle a W.
Other James Beard Awards Gala notes, musings, and observations...
- Maria Hines introduced "her friend and mentor," Nora Pouillon, for the James Beard Leadership Award. But Maria's own introduction was a Heinz ketchup joke. She's never heard that one before.
- When will we retire the LaLa Land fake-out? Not anytime soon, as the Best Chef Northwest category got the Oscars gaffe treatment. Portland's Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton of Ox took home the win. Alas, no producers came on stage to actually present the award to Edouardo Jordan or Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi.
- There was a Parade of Chefs, the Gala's reception chefs that is, which came with some fun facts in the JBFA program... The most Instagrammed dish at Joule according to Rachel Yang is their spicy rice cakes with chorizo and fermented mustard greens. If Renee Erickson were a hashtag, what would she be? (Admit you've been dying to know.) Her answer: #imreadyforwine.
Us too, chef. Cheers to our winners, nominees, and chefs of honor!