UPDATE on Tuesday, March 19th: Brendan McGill, owner & chef at Hitchcock on Bainbridge Island, has been voted People's Choice for "Best New Chef" in the whole damn country by Food & Wine. Ya think it's something in the water out here?
James Beard may have been born in Portland, Oregon, but his professional career was based in New York City. His name somehow became attached to a string of prestigious professional awards in the culinary field, a subject for tasty gossip. Still, the James Beard Foundation, once scandal-ridden, has become the arbiter for honors like "Best Chef," "Best Cookbook," "Best Restaurant," and so on. In sports, there are scores and win-loss records; in cooking, well, someone has to decide, and in this century, it's.the James Beard Foundation.
So we now have a list of finalists. The local nominees, some seen before on Cornichon, are:
- Best Chef, Northwest: Jason Franey (Canlis)
- Best Chef, Northwest: Ethan Stowell (Staple & Fancy and many other restaurants, most recently Bar Cotto, photo),
- Best Rising Chef: Blaine Wetzel (The Willows Inn, Lummi Island)
- Best Cookbook, General: Modernist Cuisine at Home, Nathan Myhrvold & Maxime Bilet
- Best Cookbook, Vegetarian: Herbivoracious, Michael Natkin
- Best Cookbook, Baking: Dahlia Bakery Cookbook, Tom Douglas & Shelley Lance
Cornichon sends heartiest congratulations to all the nominees. Winners will be announced the first week in May.