Awards & Accolades

Hey, Look: Seattle's 2016 James Beard Award Semifinalists

Nice work, Seattle.

By Allecia Vermillion February 17, 2016

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Mark my words, within five years this ceremony will be broadcast live on Bravo. Image via the James Beard Foundation.

This morning, the James Beard Foundation released its list of chefs in the running for the nation's most prestigious restaurant honors.

And...not too shabby, Seattle. We're represented in every national category. I'm excited about Girin and Eden Hill chef Maximillian Petty landing here, not to mention deserving names like Jerry Traunfeld, Matt Dillon, Lark, Canlis, and Cafe Juanita. It's nice to see Ethan Stowell up in the restaurateur category, and the long list of Best Chef Northwest contenders is a mix of familiar and new names. Also, can Canon win this year, please?

Okay, here we go! I'm including the Portland longlisters too, just for kicks. See the full list here.

Best New Restaurant

Coquine, Portland, OR
Girin Steakhouse & Ssam Bar, Seattle

2016 Outstanding Baker

Evan Andres, Columbia City Bakery, Seattle
Kim Boyce, Bakeshop, Portland, OR

Outstanding Bar Program

Canon, Seattle
Clyde Common, Portland, OR

Outstanding Chef

Matt Dillon, Bar Sajor, Seattle
Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon, Portland, OR
Jerry Traunfeld, Poppy, Seattle

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Junko Mine, Café Juanita, Kirkland, WA
Kristen Murray, Maurice, Portland, OR

Outstanding Restaurant

Lark, Seattle 

Outstanding Restaurateur

Michael Mina*, Mina Restaurants, San Francisco (Michael Mina, Bourbon Steak, RN74, and others)
Ethan Stowell, Ethan Stowell Restaurants, Seattle (Staple & Fancy, How to Cook a Wolf, Anchovies & Olives, and others) 
Nate Tilden, Portland, OR (Clyde Common, Olympia Provisions, Spirit of 77, The Richmond) 

*We'll throw Mina in the mix because of RN74's Seattle outpost.

Outstanding Service

Café Juanita, Kirkland, WA

Outstanding Wine Program

Canlis, Seattle
Jory Restaurant at the Allison Inn & Spa, Newberg, OR
Wild Ginger, Seattle

Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional 

Wayne Carpenter, Skagit Valley Malting, Burlington, WA
Steve McCarthy, Clear Creek Distillery, Portland, OR

 Rising Star of the Year

Jay Blackinton, Hogstone Wood Oven, Orcas Island, WA
Ryan Fox and Ali Matteis, Nomad, Portland, OR
Maximillian Petty, Eden Hill, Seattle

Best Chef: Northwest (I'm including the whole category, just for context)

Jose Chesa, Ataula, Portland, OR
Laura Cole, 229 Parks Restaurant & Tavern, Denali National Park & Preserve, AK
Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton, Ox, Portland, OR
Eric Donnelly, RockCreek, Seattle
Jeff Drew, Snake River Grill, Jackson, WY
Mike Easton, Il Corvo Pasta, Seattle
Renee Erickson, The Whale Wins, Seattle
Adam Hegsted, The Wandering Table, Spokane, WA
Edouardo Jordan, Salare, Seattle
Joe Kim, 5 Fusion and Sushi Bar, Bend, OR
Kris Komori, State & Lemp, Boise, ID
Nathan Lockwood, Altura, Seattle
Mike Muirhead, Mas Taco, Red Lodge, MT
Trent Pierce, Roe, Portland, OR
Sarah Pliner, Aviary, Portland, OR
Ryan Roadhouse, Nodoguro, Portland, OR
Dustin Ronspies, Art of the Table, Seattle
Allen Routt, Painted Lady, Newberg, OR
Justin Woodward, Castagna, Portland, OR
Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule, Seattle

On March 15, the foundation will narrow down this list, announcing just five nominees in each category. Admittedly, it's a bit confusing. The way I've heard it, this longlist of semifinalists got leaked a few years back and generated considerable buzz, so the James Beard folks decided to ride that wave and make it an annual thing. The awards themselves happen in Chicago on Monday, May 2; Carla Hall is hosting. 

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