What's your vote? - James Beard 2010 Portland Nominees
The James Beard Best Chef nominees (semifinalists) are out and Portland has the most of any city in the northwest! Although I tend to think these annual awards favor the "new and notables" as opposed to the vets, who would you pick to represent our fair city?
Oswaldo Bibiano, Autentica
John Gorham, Toro Bravo
Jenn Louis, Lincoln
Naomi Pomeroy, Beast
Andy Ricker, Pok Pok
Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon
Cathy Whims, Nostrana
I'd probably have to go with Gabe Rucker, although I have yet to try Autentica. I agree that they sorta go for the new guys - no Paleys, Higgins, etc. I'm also surprised that Matt Lightner didnt make the list. I'm hearing a lot of good stuff coming out of Castagna...
The list above is for Best Chef for the Northwest region. Higgins is on the list for Outstanding Restaurant (nationally). Matt Lightner and Gabe Rucker are on the list for Rising Star (again, nationally). Just to round out the list, Ping is on the list for Best New Restaurant and Stephen McCarthy of Clear Creek Distillery for Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional.
Nettie is correct, I rechecked and should have mentioned those other Portland nominees. I might have to agree with the person above for Gabe Rucker - he's probably the guy who'd I want cooking me dinner if I had to pick one.
Also - I'm a little surprised that Ping is on the list for best new restaurant. Anyone else?
re: Kazy Ctn
Ping made the GQ list, so it's not too surprising that it showed up on the James Beard list, too.
Of the list of Portlanders in the Best Chef Northwest category, I would give my vote to John Gorham, but my gut tells me that Matt Dillon from Corson Building out of Seattle will win it.
Rucker has been on the short list for a while now, so it's good to see him there again for Rising Star Chef.