The James Beard Foundation released its list of semifinalists for its celebrated culinary awards this morning, with a healthy dose of Portland talent in national categories. Notably, the prestigious culinary organization named for a former Oregon resident included Eem and Gado Gado in the Best New Restaurant category, the multi-James Beard winner Gabriel Rucker in the Outstanding Chef category, and Vietnamese restaurant Ha VL in the Outstanding Restaurant category.
Many semifinalists from last year’s list have returned to the pool in 2020: Kim Boyce of Bakeshop nabbed another semifinalist spot in the Outstanding Baker category, and Earl Ninsom was again listed as a semifinalist for the Best Restaurateur category. However, a few new additions made the list this year: Naoko Tamura of Shizuku and Chef Naoko is a semifinalist in the newly redistricted Best Chef: Northwest and Pacific category. Plus, Ha VL has jumped from the local categories into the national category, as the only Portland restaurant on the Outstanding Restaurant list.
Below, you’ll find a full breakdown of the Oregon semifinalists:
Best New Restaurant
Kim Boyce, Bakeshop
Outstanding Bar Program
Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon
Outstanding Wine Program
Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Producer
Best Chef: Northwest and Pacific
The organization will release the list of nominees on March 25.
Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Awards.