In February, the James Beard Foundation released their list of 2018 semifinalists up for the most prestigious culinary award (Seattle talent abounded). Then, a month later, the foundation announced their shortlist of nominees—Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Edouardo Jordan, and Canlis all remained contenders.
A brief recap: Jordan—who's having a great year in general considering Pete Wells's three-star review of JuneBaby in the New York Times plus accolades from GQ and Food and Wine—is up for two awards: Best Chef Northwest and Best New Restaurant. Likewise Yang and Chirchi are up for best chef. And Canlis, which won its first Beard last year for Outstanding Wine Program, is in the running for Outstanding Restaurant.
This evening in Chicago, the culinary organization revealed this year's winners and, boy, do we have a lot to celebrate.
Congratulations to Edouardo Jordan for his win in the Best Chef Northwest category for Salare. Jordan jotted down some notes in the hallway of his hotel room the morning of the ceremony in case he won, and good thing that he did. He gave his thanks to the supporters in his life—his parents, who were in attendance, his sister—and then he asked his crew in the audience to stand. "These guys make my life easier—sometimes they make it harder," Jordan quipped. "But I'm glad they're here because they've always had my back. This award is for you guys and I appreciate you."
And Jordan wasn’t done taking home awards.
He also won Best New Restuarant for his highly lauded JuneBaby. He gave ever more shout outs to his supporters, including his mother. “Mom thank you for putting a knife and a cookbook in my hand some 30 years ago.” But it wouldn’t be JuneBaby without his dad, for whom the restaurant is named.
We also had some local names take home James Beard Media Awards, which were announced on April 27. Cheers to Nathan Myhrvold and Francisc Migoya (Modernist Cuisine, the Cooking Lab) for their book Modernist Bread. And Andrew Gooi took home an award for visual and technical excellence for his work on Food Talkies.
And let's not forget that this year in January, the JBF recognized Los Hernandez, a Union Gap, Washington tamales restaurant, with an American Classic award; they were honored in Chicago as well.