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Here Are the 2023 James Beard Award Semifinalists from Oregon

Portland’s Kann and McMinnville’s Okta are nominees for best new restaurant

Closeup on a silver medal featuring the face of James Beard. Around the edge of the medal, text reads “James Beard Foundation Award for Excellence.” James Beard Foundation

The semifinalists for the 2023 James Beard Awards were announced this morning, with a number of Oregon-based restaurants and chefs among the nominees in categories including best new restaurant and best chef: Northwest and Pacific.

This year’s awards include five nominees from Portland, in addition to five nominees from elsewhere in Oregon.

The 2023 awards are the Foundation’s second ceremony following an extensive audit in 2021. The audit was intended to help restructure the Foundation and resulted in changes such as introducing a protocol to handle nominee misconduct allegations, diversifying its voting body, and casting a wider net to find chefs and restaurants during the voting process.

During the 2022 awards, the Foundation changed certain categories, such as renaming the rising star chef award to the emerging chef category — chef Thuy Pham of Mama Đút was a nominee in the category last year. This year, the category of outstanding bakery was added, but no Oregon bakeries were recognized.

The James Beard Foundation will release the short list of nominees on Wednesday, March 29, and restaurant and chef award winners will be presented at a gala ceremony in Chicago on June 5, 2023. See the full list of Oregon semifinalists below.

Portland nominees:

Kann — best new restaurant

OK Omens — outstanding wine and other beverages program

Peter Cho, Han Oak — best chef: Northwest and Pacific

Vince Nguyen, Berlu — best chef: Northwest and Pacific

Thomas Pisha-Duffly, Gado Gado — best chef: Northwest and Pacific

Oregon nominees outside Portland:

Okta, McMinnville, OR — best new restaurant

Hiyu Wine Farm, Hood River, OR — outstanding wine and other beverages program

Joshua Dorcak, MÄS, Ashland, OR — best chef: Northwest and Pacific

Jonathan Jones, Epilogue Kitchen & Cocktails, Salem, OR — best chef: Northwest and Pacific

Crystal Platt, Lion & Owl, Eugene, OR — best chef: Northwest and Pacific

Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Foundation Awards.