Several Seattle authors and chefs were on the list when finalists for the prestigious James Beard awards were announced Monday morning.
For cookbooks, Michael Natkin’s Herbivoracious was a finalist in the Vegetable Focused and Vegetarian category, and The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook: Sweetness in Seattle was nominated for Baking and Desserts. Modernist Cuisine at Home by Nathan Myhrvold and Maxime Bilet, of the Bellevue-based Cooking Lab, was a finalist in general cooking (its 6-volume predecessor, Modernist Cuisine, won two awards last year, including cookbook of the year.) Natkin, in an interesting twist, now also works for Seattle-based ChefSteps, which was founded by a handful of former members of the Modernist Cuisine team.
In the chef and restaurant awards, Blaine Wetzel of The Willows Inn on Lummi Island was a finalist for Rising Star Chef, a high-flying category whose past winners includes David Chang and Marcus Samuelsson.
In the Best Chef Northwest category, there were no surprises in the all-star lineup, all of whom have been nominated for Beards in past years: Jason Franey of Canlis and Ethan Stowell of Staple+Fancy (and other ventures) are up against Portlandites Naomi Pomeroy of Beast, Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon (who won the Rising Star Chef award in 2011), and Cathy Whims of Nostrana.
Winners will be announced in May in New York City. The complete list is online here. The finalists list was narrowed down from these semifinalists — I was disappointed that more of the local semifinalists weren’t honored today. Who would have been on your list?
Photo of Michael Natkin by Alan Berner/The Seattle Times