We've already run down the list of semifinalists for this year's James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards. And late last week we were able to bring you word of an early win by Seattle's own FareStart as the James Beard Foundation's Humanitarian of the Year.
His James Beardiness himself, cooking what appears to be a delicious pan of sticks.
But now is when things get serious, because just this afternoon the list of finalists in all categories was handed down during a ceremony in Portland. The JBF folks were tweeting the crap out of the whole thing, but I wanted to wait until I could offer up the entire list of local finalists in one convenient package.
Which I now have for you, right after the jump.
Best New Restaurant? Nothing for Seattle, despite a semifinal nod for Ethan Stowell's Staple & Fancy. Outstanding Chef, Pastry Chef, and Outstanding Restaurant? Also nada. Holly Smith and Jerry Traunfeld both had semifinal nods in the chef category and Smith had a second in Outstanding Restaurant for her Cafe Juanita, but neither made it into the finals.
Outstanding Restaurateur is the first place where we get a potential hometown winner, with Tom Douglas advancing alongside some serious heavy-hitters from all over the country.
For Outstanding Service, we've got Canlis, with brothers Brian and Mark going up against the likes of Emeril's, La Grenouille, Per Se, and Topolobampo. But then we've got no other scorers in the wine categories or Rising Star awards, and nothing at all for the locals until you get down into the regional faceoffs.
There, it's another year of Seattle vs. Portland, with our own Matt Dillon (Sitka & Spruce) and Ethan Stowell (Staple & Fancy) lined up against Christopher Israel (from Gruner), Andy Ricker (Pok Pok), and Cathy Whims (Nostrana).
So for those of you who don't like math, that gives us four potential champions when the winners are announced on May 9--two in the big national categories and two in the regionals. If you want to see the full list of chef and restaurant finalists, I'd suggests reading it on eater.com, because, currently, it appears as though the James Beard Foundation's website is having a bit of a stroke--not a surprise what with half the food nerds in the country currently trying to get on and the other half frantically Tweetering congratulations to their favorites. When it recovers, the official JBF list can be found at jamesbeard.org.