The James Beard Foundation announced finalists for the 2010 James Beard Awards today. Winners will be feted at the annual awards ceremony and gala in NYC May 3, when the food and beverage industry’s version of the Oscars will take place at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. This year, a shorter-than-usual number of local nominees made it onto the final ballot (here’s the complete list). Say hello — and congrats — to the Northwest food folks who’ll be representing us this year (and “Better luck next year!” to the semifinalists who won’t).
And the nominees are: For Outstanding Restaurateur, Tom Douglas (Tom Douglas Restaurants), whose competition includes Pat Kuleto, Keith McNally, Richard Melman and Stephen Starr. Vying for Best Chef Northwest are Seattle chef-restaurateurs Jason Wilson (Crush) and Ethan Stowell (Ethan Stowell Restaurants), whose competition includes Portland’s Naomi Pomeroy (Beast), Andy Ricker (Pok Pok) and Cathy Whims (Nostrana).
From left: Tom Douglas, Jason Wilson and Ethan Stowell
But wait, there’s more!
Another local face, Seattle Weekly’s new restaurant critic Jason Sheehan — author of the memoir “Cooking Dirty” — is a finalist in the Distinguished Restaurant Reviewers category for his work at Denver’s alt-weekly, Westword. Gabriel Rucker of Portland’s Le Pigeon got the nod (again) for Rising Star Chef of the Year. And Chefs A ‘Field, co-produced by Seattle-based KCTS and Warner Hanson Television for PBS, is up for Best TV Show on Location for “King of Alaska.”