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James Beard Foundation Announces 2017 Portland Awards Finalists

Meet the finalists for Best Chef Northwest, Outstanding Baker, Outstanding Bar Program, Book Awards, and Media categories

James Beard Foundation

Today, the James Beard Foundation announced its 2017 chef, restaurant, and media award finalists. Portland has a solid chance of winning the Best Chef Northwest category, with three out of the five nominees.

Katy Millard of Coquine enters the ring for the first time, and she joins Justin Woodward of Castagna and Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton of Ox, who were 2016 finalists. Though based in Seattle, Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi opened Revelry in Portland in 2016, and they too were named finalists for Best Chef Northwest.

Ken Forkish of Ken’s Artisan Bakery fame is a finalist in two categories: Outstanding Baker and Book Awards for Single Subject. Portland Monthly restaurant critic Karen Brooks was one of just three food critics nominated for the Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award (Eater’s national restaurant critic Bill Addison also made the list), and Oregon-based journalist Katherine Cole received recognition for her new podcast, The Four Top, aired on NPR.

The chef and restaurant award winners will be announced in a gala event on Monday, May 1 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. (This will be the third year the awards gala will take place in Chicago — and the city will host subsequent galas until at least 2021.) The media awards will be announced at an event on April 25 in New York City.

Here is the full list in the Best Chef Northwest, Outstanding Baker, Outstanding Bar Program, Book Awards, Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award, and Podcast categories (click here to see all of the 2017 James Beard award chef and restaurant finalists):

Best Chef: Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY)

Chefs who have set new or consistent standards of excellence in their respective regions. Eligible candidates may be from any kind of dining establishment and must have been working as a chef for at least five years with the three most recent years spent in the region.

Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton, Ox, Portland, OR

Edouardo Jordan, Salare, Seattle

Katy Millard, Coquine, Portland, OR

Justin Woodward, Castagna, Portland, OR

Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule, Seattle

Outstanding Baker

A chef or baker who prepares breads, pastries or desserts in a retail bakery, and who serves as a national standard-bearer of excellence. Must have been a baker or pastry chef for at least five years.

Ken Forkish, Ken’s Artisan Bakery, Portland, OR

Mark Furstenberg, Bread Furst, Washington, D.C.

Zachary Golper, Bien Cuit, Brooklyn, NY

Belinda Leong and Michel Suas, B. Patisserie, San Francisco

Greg Wade, Publican Quality Bread, Chicago

Outstanding Bar Program

A restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence in cocktail, spirits and/or beer service.

Arnaud’s French 75 Bar, New Orleans

Bar Agricole, San Francisco

Clyde Common, Portland, OR

Cure, New Orleans

The Dead Rabbit, NYC

2017 James Beard Foundation Book Awards

For books published in English in 2016. Winners will be announced on April 25, 2017. The winner of the Book of the Year Award and the Cookbook Hall of Fame inductee will be announced on April 25, 2017.

Single Subject

Big Bad Breakfast: The Most Important Book of the Day

John Currence

(Ten Speed Press)

The Elements of Pizza: Unlocking the Secrets to World-Class Pies at Home

Ken Forkish

(Ten Speed Press)

Milk. Made.: A Book About Cheese. How to Choose It, Serve It and Eat It

Nick Haddow

(Hardie Grant)

Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award

Counter Intelligence: “Destroyer Blows Up the Norm”; “Red Sauce, Royal Treatment”; “Bubbling Cauldrons of Goodness”

Jonathan Gold

Los Angeles Times

“Dinner, Transcending”; “The Future of the Steakhouse Has Arrived, and It's in Chicago”; “Is the World Ready for the Austere Beauty of Günter Seeger?”

Bill Addison


“High Chairs and Hard Core”; “The X-Files”; “Beyond Biscuits and Gravy”

Karen Brooks

Portland Monthly


The Four Top

Host: Katherine Cole

Producers: Katherine Cole and Morgan Holm

Airs on: and iTunes

Special Sauce

Host: Ed Levine

Producer: Marty Goldensohn

Airs on:

The Sporkful

Host: Dan Pashman

Producers: Anne Noyes Saini, Shoshana Gold, and Dan Charles

Airs on: