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Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

Seattle chefs are leaving the 2024 James Beard Awards empty-handed

By meerna Jun12,2024

Despite solid and diverse representation at last night’s James Beard Awards ceremony in Chicago, unfortunately, at the end of the night, no Washington State chefs walked away with an award. Contenders included Yenvy and Quynh Pham With Pho Bac/Łódź/Phocific Standard Time (Seattle), who were nominated in the Outstanding Restaurateur category and Janet Becerra With Pancita (Seattle), with a nomination for emerging chef. Also, Mike and Erin Easton With Bacetto Bar in Waitsburg, near Walla Walla, won best new restaurant.

Meanwhile, Melissa Miranda With Musanga (Seattle), Christina Brown With Communion (Seattle), Avery Adams With Matia’s kitchen (Eastsound, Orc Island), Derek Bray With Table (Tacoma), Evan Leichtling With Outside the Alley (Seattle) i Grayson Corrales With MariPili tapas bar (Seattle) competed for the title of best chef: Northwest and Pacific. Additionally, Aaron Verzos With Archipelago competed for the title of Outstanding Chef, Ben Campbell With Ben’s Bread Co. competed for the title of outstanding confectioner or baker, he soon had a break Eight rows took part in the competition for the best wines and other drinks in the program and The walrus and the carpenter competed for the title of Outstanding Restaurant. But, somewhat puzzlingly, none of them won.

Of course, Oregon, Hawaii and Alaska also made it into the Best Chef: Northwest and Pacific category, with Portland right next to it cleaned up in comparison (unsurprisingly). Langbaanfamous for its Thai tasting menu, won the award for best restaurant and was nominated for a multi-year James Beard Award Grzegorz Gourdet won the coveted Outstanding Chef Award: Northwest and Pacific for his Haitian restaurant, cann — which won best new restaurant last year.

If heartbreak is too much to bear, take solace in the fact that two quasi-Seattle residents took James Beards home this year. Hajime Sato — who created groundbreaking, sustainable sushi-ya Mashiko in West Seattle in 1994 before selling in 2019 — won Best Chef: Great Lakes for his omakase restaurant Sozai in suburban Detroit. And the new Seattleite J. Kenji López-Alt received the James Beard Media Award for the cookbook, Wok: recipes and techniques. Lopez-Alt moved to Seattle in late 2020 and frequently writes about food and culture here, so it seemed only fair to report him.

Congratulations to the incredibly talented winners and finalists, from all regions and categories, who perform essential work – both culinary and cultural – regardless of award status. There’s always next year, Washington.

By meerna

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