Jun 10, 2024 - News

Seattle shut out of James Beard Awards again

Illustration of a chef's toque deflating into a sad balloon.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Seattle-area restaurants and chefs were shut of the James Beard Awards in Chicago Monday for the third year in a row.

Why it matters: Despite a full slate of outstanding nominees, Seattle failed to take home one of the culinary scene's most prestigious awards.

The big picture: The James Beard Foundation — named for the iconic Portland-born food writer and chef — gives out 22 awards annually, spotlighting the crème de la crème in categories like baking, hospitality, wine, restaurant and regional chef.

  • It's like the Oscars, but for food.

Driving the news: Five Seattle-area chefs and restaurants made this year's list of finalists:

  • Janet Becerra of Pancita in Ravenna was up for Emerging Chef but lost out to Masako Morishita of Perry's in Washington, D.C.
  • Quynh-Vy and Yenvy Pham (Pho Bac Sup Shop, The Boat and Phocific Standard Time) were finalists in the Outstanding Restaurateur category for the second year in a row.

"It's wild," Pham told the Associated Press last week. "It's a great honor."

Context: Melissa Miranda of Musang, Kristi Brown of Communion and Avery Adams of Matia Kitchen were up for the Best Chef: Northwest and Pacific award.

  • But Gregory Gourdet of Kann in Portland, which won Best New Restaurant in 2023, took home the Best Chef Northwest award this year.

What they're saying: Interviewed on the red carpet before the awards, Brown of Communion told Axios that, win or lose, Seattle's rich landscape of diverse fare "deserves to be recognized."

Between the lines: Whether or not our contenders this year took home an award, they made it off the list of semifinalists, a résumé-worthy feat on its own.

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