I've been tracking the James Beard Awards now for a couple months, handicapping the odds on the semifinalists (here, here and here), talking about the finalists and their chances (here), and reporting on my own crushing defeat at the hands of Jonathan Gold on Sunday night during the JBF Media Awards.
Now, though, it is all over for another year. The last round of awards were given out last night, and one of our own brought home the award for the 2010 Best Chef Northwest: Jason Wilson of Crush.In the Outstanding Restaurateur category, our own Tom Douglas was bested by Keith McNally who operates a bunch of restaurants in New York City, and other than Wilson (and myself, in the media awards), Douglas represented the only other Seattleite in the running for this year's awards.
But in the end, it was Wilson who came through--besting not only his closest local competition (Ethan Stowell, in the running with Union), but Naomi Pomeroy, Andy Ricker and Cathy Whims of Beast, Pok Pok and Nostrana, respectively, and all out of Portland. This was Wilson's third nomination for the Beards, his third trip to the big party in NYC. The man was due.
So congratulations are certainly due to Wilson and his entire crew at Crush. This is a big win for him and a notable one for the city of Seattle. My guess? He's probably pretty happy with the way things turned out right now.
And for the rest of you, if you'd like to check out the full spread of award winners, you can (finally...) go right to the source: the James Beard Foundation website, where all the winners of both night's awards are listed.