Round of Applause

The Latest Bunch of James Beard Award Finalists Are Here

...and congrats are in order, Seattle.

By Rosin Saez March 27, 2019

Canlis just nabbed a James Beard Design Icon Award. Are there more medals in store? 

Early this morning, whether you were just blinking your eyes open or already deep in a coffee shop queue, the James Beard Foundation released its 2019 nominees for the country’s most prestigious culinary honors, a group narrowed down from a list of semifinalists announced last month.

First up, in the media and journalism award category, Seattle Times writer (and occasional Seattle Met contributor) Rebekah Denn is nominated for her essay "Savoring the School Lunch,” alongside scribes from the Washington Post and Bon Appétit. And a hearty hear, hear to Eastsider-slash-Seattle-adjacent journo Audra Mulkern for her work with Debbie Weingarten, “‘It's Not Fair, Not Right’: How America Treats Its Black Farmers” for The Guardian and the Economic Hardship Reporting Project in the Investigative Reporting category. Congrats to our fellow Seattle wordsmiths!

And, Canlis, just wow. 

It’s a great day to be on the Canlis team. (But when isn't it?) Today, though, the iconic restaurant is nominated for Outstanding Service, Brady Williams is a finalist in the Best Chef: Northwest category—alongside constant category darlings Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi for Joule—and earlier this month the James Beard Foundation bequeathed Canlis the Design Icon Award for 2019. The Canlis crew seems to love the taste of victory. They took home their first-ever Beard in 2017 in the Outstanding Wine Program category and look to be back for more medals.

In other design news: Seattle is having a moment. Beyond Canlis's classic design recognition, Renee Erickson, biz partner Jeremy Price, and the Sea Creatures restaurant group's Willmott's Ghost are nominated for Outstanding Restaurant Design.

Here’s the full list of nominees, and all of the Best Chef: Northwest contenders are listed below. The awards happen Monday, May 6 in Chicago, hosted by the exuberant actor, Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Congratulations, all!

Best Chef: Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY)

Peter Cho
Han Oak
Portland, OR

Katy Millard
Portland, OR

Brady Williams

Justin Woodward
Portland, OR

Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi

A couple of late but nonetheless important addendums to the local talent nominated for awards: Ashley Rodriguez's Kitchen Unnecessary – Fire Morels (as seen on YouTube and Facebook) is up for Online Video, on Location. And in the Personal Essay, Long Form category writer Geraldine DeRuiter ( is up for her incredible piece “I Made the Pizza Cinnamon Rolls from Mario Batali’s Sexual Misconduct Apology Letter."

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