Here Are Seattle’s James Beard Award Semifinalists for 2019

Who from our region is up for the most distinguished restaurant honors in the country?

By Rosin Saez  2/27/2019 at 7:56am

James Beard–blessed medallions.  IMAGE:  COURTESY JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION

James Beard–blessed medallions.


Early this morning the James Beard Foundation released its list of chefs and other food and drink pros in the running for the most prestigious culinary award in all the land. And, no surprise, Seattle fared mighty well.

Up for national awards, there’s Mitch Mayers’s Sawyer for Best New Restaurant (you can read our review if you’re not up to speed on Mayers’s “elegant funhouse”), brothers Schumann—Kit and Jesse, that is, from Sea Wolf Bakers—are up for Outstanding Baker for the first time, and in the Outstanding Wine Program category we’ve got the low-intervention, ahem naturel, wine haven L’Oursin sheparded by the imitable Kathryn Olson. It’s nice to see Anu and Chris Elford’s No Anchor contending for Outstanding Bar Program. Renee Erickson, no stranger to the Outstanding Chef nod, is joined by sushi maestro Shiro Kashiba. And Jay Blackington of Hogstone and Ælder on Orcas Island and Shota Nakajima land on the Rising Star of the Year lineup again. Meanwhile Logan Cox, whose Beacon Hill restaurant Homer opened last fall, is a deserving newcomer to the Best Chef: Northwest category alongside many other praiseworthy chefs.

From here, come March 27, the foundation will whittle this list down to final nominees; the award ceremony happens on May 6 in Chicago.

Without further ado, here are the Seattle semifinalists, with some Portland brethren thrown in, too. See the full list here.

Best New Restaurant

Sawyer, Seattle
Canard, Portland, OR

Outstanding Baker

Kit Schumann and Jesse Schumann, Sea Wolf Bakers, Seattle
Kim Boyce, Bakeshop, Portland, OR

Outstanding Bar Program

No Anchor, Seattle
Expatriate, Portland, OR

Outstanding Chef

Renee Erickson, Bateau, Seattle
Shiro Kashiba, Sushi Kashiba, Seattle
Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon, Portland, OR

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Junko Mine, Cafe Juanita, Kirkland, WA

Outstanding Restaurant

Cafe Juanita, Kirkland, WA

Outstanding Restaurateur

Ethan Stowell, Ethan Stowell Restaurants, Seattle (Ballard Pizza Co., Bramling Cross, Cortina, and others)
Akkapong (Earl) Ninsom, Portland, OR (Langbaan, Hat Yai, PaaDee, and others)

Outstanding Service

Canlis, Seattle

Outstanding Wine Program

L’Oursin, Seattle
Davenport, Portland, OR