Want to suggest nominations for the 2015 James Beard awards? Now’s your chance. Individuals can suggest names for outstanding chefs and restaurateurs at this link through Dec. 31. Once the suggestions are in, nominations and eventual winners are decided by a committee including journalists and past honorees. (Here’s our own Providence Cicero describing how the process works.)
Categories in the prestigious competition this year include a new “outstanding baker” award. (There’s already one for best pastry chef.) The addition “grew from our desire to honor those professionals working beyond the restaurant dessert realm,” said Restaurant and Chef Awards committee chair Phil Vettel in a press release. This could be an opportunity for Seattle greats like Leslie Mackie, a four-time finalist in the pastry chef category who might be a better fit for a “baker” award. Other categories include Best Chef Northwest (past local winners include Matt Dillon, Holly Smith, and a host of others,) Outstanding Restaurateur (Tom Douglas won in 2012,) Rising Star (Blaine Wetzel of the Willows Inn shared the 2014 award,) Outstanding Restaurant (isn’t it about time Canlis took home the award in addition to the nomination?) and many more.