Oregon Finalists for the James Beard Award Nominations

written by Julie Lee | photo of Ox Restaurant by John Valls


The James Beard Foundation Awards are annually presented in recognition for excellence in cuisine, culinary writing, and education. It has been called the “Oscars of food.” The 2016 ceremony will take place on May 2 in Chicago. In the meantime, finalists have been announced, and Portland is well represented in several categories.

 

Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quinonez Denton, Ox Restaurant

Up for – Best Chef: Northwest

Greg and Gabrielle Denton opened Ox in spring of 2012 and have been on the radar in Portland, and nationally, ever since. In 2013, Ox was named The Oregonian‘s Restaurant of the Year. In 2014, Food & Wine crowned them Best New Chefs. They were 2015 finalists for James Beard Best Chef: Northwest, and here we are again. All the fame and acclaim is well earned yet humbly received by the powerhouse team. They prefer to keep busy with many forks in the air, currently focused on opening their second Portland restaurant, SuperBite, in the former Gruner space.

2225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. | oxpdx.com

 

Justin Woodward, Castagna Restaurant

Up for – Best Chef: Northwest

This is the third year, and the second year in a row, that Justin Woodward has been nominated for a James Beard Award. Woodward traveled the world, accumulating culinary experience in Denmark, Spain and New York, before bringing his rich and worldly knowledge to Castagna in Portland. Seasonal and carefully-curated ingredients are playfully plated and presented in a most progressive manner, confirming Woodward’s status as one of Portland’s premier chefs.

1752 SE Hawthorne Blvd. | castagnarestaurant.com

 

Clyde Common

Up for – Outstanding Bar Program

Dear James Beard Foundation: we agree! Listed previously by 1859 as a “best of” in the early-bird happy-hour category, Clyde Common made the cut as a finalist for outstanding bar program in the James Beard Foundation awards. Cocktails are like fine art at Clyde Common, and if they didn’t go down so easy, you’d want to frame them for the mantel. With several barrel-aged and house-brewed and bottled specialties, you’ll want to make this a weekly stop and try them all.

1014 SW Stark St. | clydecommon.com

 

The Country Cat, Adam and Jackie Sappington

Up for – Cookbook Awards: American Cooking

Executive chef Adam Sappington and executive pastry chef Jackie Sappington share a few secrets to their irrefutable success at The Country Cat Dinner House and Bar with Heartlandia: Heritage Recipes from Portland’s The Country Cat. Soulful, comfort-inspired recipes—such as crispy fried oysters with smoky bacon and bourbon peach crumble pie—captures the spirit of the south. Combined with beautiful photography, the book also caught the attention of the James Beard panel.

7937 SE Stark | thecountrycat.net

 

Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule, Seattle

Up for – Best Chef: Northwest

Why include chefs from Seattle on a list celebrating Portland nominations? Seattle’s buzz-worthy owners of three Seattle restaurants (Revel, Joule and Trove,) Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, will soon be partnering with Portland’s Eric and Karen Bowler to open a late-night Korean restaurant in southeast Portland. So we’ll just go head and extend an early welcome to the food scene power couple. Their Portland restaurant, set to open this summer, will be located in the historic Salvation Army building in the Buckman neighborhood and will feature Korean fare with a French spin.

200 SE MLK Blvd. | joulerestaurant.com

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