In last night's James Beard press room, where chefs mingled post-Awards but pre-celebratory gala and afterparties, Beast's Naomi Pomeroy was gearing up for an evening of excess. "I think we’re just going to get really loaded," she said of her post-party plans. "It took lot to bounce back from last night and do it all over again, but we're going to go from party to party."
Before heading out to 11 Madison Park (which, as Tweeted, was a dancing-on-the-tables sort of night — not by Pomeroy, but plenty of others), Naomi but took a minute to talk to Eater PDX's Christian DeBenedetti.
"Well, I guess in some ways I was a little bit surprised, because I think that Portland brings it pretty hard when it comes to the food scene in the Northwest. I haven’t spent a ton of time in Seattle. I haven’t been to either of the Seattle nominees’ restaurants, so, I can’t say anything about that. [But] I’m super excited to be here, I think we all were."
She continues: "What’s great about being from Portland is — Andy [Ricker], Cathy [Whims], and Gabriel [Rucker] and I — just seeing each other, there was like no competition at all. Of course we were all rooting for Gabriel, being the third time he was nominated for Rising Star, and I think he has one more year of eligibility, so hopefully he can get that next year. But when I found out it wasn’t Portland, I was just surprised. I didn’t know who of us would win, but I really thought that it would have been one person from Portland."
Any advice for those crestfallen Portland foodies?
"I would just say keep an eye out for next year," she said. "I’m a thousand percent sure that it will be someone from Portland. [I hope] people keep coming out to the restaurants, keep talking about Portland."
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