Blaine Wetzel has had a traumatic year with his partner's accident in Paraguay (fiancée Raquel Ruiz Diaz was hit by a drunk driver in early March and critically injured), but bright news from the James Beard Foundation tonight. Wetzel just took home the JBF's Best Chef Northwest award for his work at Lummi Island's Willows Inn.
Also up for the honor were:
- Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule, Seattle
- Renee Erickson, The Whale Wins, Seattle
- Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton, Ox, Portland, OR
- Justin Woodward, Castagna, Portland, OR