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March 20, 2011 at 3:11 PM

James Beard Awards 2011 finalists announced

The James Beard Foundation today announced nominees for the 2011 James Beard Awards at a luncheon in the Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland, the birthplace of James Beard. Winners will be feted May 9 in NYC, at the annual awards ceremony and gala at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. The full list of nominees in all award categories, as well as those who will be honored for special achievement, is available via the James Beard website. FYI: that site gets so slammed on days like today you might want to follow the chatter via their Twitter feed or Facebook page.

And a drum-roll please! Representing Seattle at the Beard Awards are . . .

Heavy medal: to be handed out in NYC in May.

For Outstanding Restaurateur: Tom Douglas. His competition? Bruce and Eric Bromberg, Pat Kuleto, Richard Melman, Phil Suarez.

Tom Douglas, the man behind an ever-growing Seattle empire, taking a break at Etta’s, one of his two restaurants near Pike Place Market. [Seattle Times photo/Greg Gilbert]

For Outstanding Service: Canlis. Its competition? Emeril’s, La Grenouille, Per Se and Topolobampo.

Brothers Brian and Mark Canlis look to the rainbow on the roof of their legendary Queen Anne restaurant. Canlis Director of Service David Kim (photo right) seen pouring wine at a special event at Seattle Center. [Canlis bros. photo courtesy Canlis Family]

For Best Chef Northwest: Matt Dillon and Ethan Stowell. Their competition? Portland’s Christopher Israel (Gruner), Andy Ricker (Pok Pok) and Cathy Whims (Nostrana).

Best Chef Northwest-contender Matt Dillon of Sitka & Spruce in the Melrose Market, seen at his Georgetown restaurant The Corson Building. [Seattle Times photo/Mike Siegel]

Best Chef Northwest-finalist Ethan Stowell of Ethan Stowell Restaurants, at Tavolata in Belltown. [Seattle Times/Jim Bates]

And whoa! Check this out! A special James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year award will be presented to FareStart, for the Seattle organization’s vast contribution to the food community. Tom Douglas — a longtime FareStart supporter — will make the presentation.

“The Humanitarian awards recognize passion, inspiration, and a commitment to doing good work that go beyond any individual’s contribution,” explains Beard Foundation president Susan Ungaro. “FareStart’s dedicated mission and tireless efforts have created a national platform that provides much-needed opportunities for so many people and raises awareness about the plight of homelessness.” FareStart’s culinary job-training and placement program has been a local treasure for nearly 20 years. It’s now sharing its successful model nationwide through its newly established Catalyst Kitchens via a network of non-profits.

And if you’ve never volunteered or eaten a meal at FareStart’s gorgeous dining room at 7th and Virginia, what are you waiting for? [Seattle Times/Mark Harrison]

As for the local lights among the finalists for journalism awards:

For articles in Saveur magazine on cooking, recipes or instruction: Seattle freelance writer Sara Dickerman, together with writers Harris Salat and Lonnee Hamilton. Their competition is Amy Thiel (Minneapolis Star Tribune) and Cassandra Vires (Feast Magazine).

Sara Dickerman, outstanding in the field of journalism, is a finalist for this Saveur story.

And though she’s not here yet, Hanna Raskin wil be replacing Jason Sheehan as the Seattle Weekly’s food critic next month. Hanna is currently at the Weekly’s sister-paper, the Dallas Observer, whose “City of Ate” blog (which she oversees) got a nomination today in the Group Food Blog category. Their competition? The Epi-Log and Grub Street New York. Good luck Hanna (and everyone else!). I’d run your photo — as other bloggers have done before me — but I won’t. And Jason? Best of luck with your new job at Philadelphia magazine, my hometown glossy. Give my regards to Broad Street.

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