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Handicapping Tonight's James Beard Awards

Image of Le Pigeon and Gabriel Rucker courtesy stu_spivack via Flickr

If this past weekend's Kentucky Derby didn't quite satiate your gamblin' bug, tonight's presentation of the James Beard Awards 2010 should give you another reason to pony up your cash — and in the spirit of green eating, why not bet local? In addition to Le Pigeon's Gabriel Rucker picking up his third-consecutive nomination for the national "Rising Stars" category, Portland's best have crowded the Best Chef, Northwest category: Nostrana's Cathy Whims, Beast's Naomi Pomeroy, and Pok Pok/Ping chef Andy Ricker are all in the running (the other two are Ethan Stowell of Union and Jason Wilson of Crush, both in Seattle).

SeriousEats' Ed Levine predicts that this will be Rucker's year to claim Rising Chef; New York mag's Grub Street puts all its chips in for Rucker's competitor Timothy Hollingsworth (of Thomas Keller's The French Laundry). Esquire's John Mariani, meanwhile, sounds like he need could use a quick intro to Portland eats, saying of the Northwest category: "The only one of the nominees with any real name recognition in this category is Ethan Stowell of Union in Seattle." Ew.

Keep your bookies on speed-dial; we'll be posting Beardian predictions and updates as and/or if they filter in through the day...
· All previous James Beard coverage [Eater PDX]


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