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JBF Announces 2012 Restaurant and Chef Semifinalists

This morning, the James Beard Foundation announced the semifinalists in the 2012 Restaurant and Chef Awards (aka the "long list" before the list is winnowed down to the final handful of finalists). The official finalists will be announced during a ceremony in Las Vegas on March 19, but here's the complete list of Portland industry folk who have a shot at hearing their names called:

Outstanding Chef: Vitaly Paley (Paley's Place)

Outstanding Pastry Chef: Ken Forkish (Ken's Artisan Bakery)

Outstanding Bar Program: Clyde Common

Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional: Steve McCarthy, Clear Creek Distillery

Best Chef, Northwest: Aaron Barnett (St. Jack), John Gorham (Toro Bravo), Chris Israel (Gruner), Naomi Pomeroy (Beast), Adam Sappington (The Country Cat), Cathy Whims (Nostrana). Other Oregon semifinalists in this category: Matthew Bennett (Sybaris restaurant in Albany), Brendan Mahaney (Belly, Eugene), and Justin Wills (Restaurant Beck, Depoe Bay).

The awards will take place at a gala event on Monday, May 7 at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. For the full list of 2012 semifinalists, head over to Eater National.
· All Previous James Beard Award Coverage [Eater PDX]

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