Today in San Francisco the James Beard Foundation announced the nominees, or finalists, for its prestigious annual restaurant awards. While many of Seattle's semifinalists have been culled, four locals advanced to the short list, including one in a national category. It's a step up from last year, when not a single local semifinalist was nominated for a national honor.
In an incredible coup, Joule chefs Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi advanced in the Best Chef: Northwest category, despite being mistakenly left off the original ballots.
2016 James Beard Award winners will be announced May 2. Here's the full list of Seattle's nominees:
Outstanding Wine Program
Best Chef: Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY)
Mike Easton, Il Corvo Pasta, Seattle
Renee Erickson, The Whale Wins, Seattle
Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule, Seattle
On the journalism side, Allecia Vermillion is a finalist in the Profile category for "The Brief, Extraordinary Life of Cody Spafford," a moving piece in Seattle Met on a former Walrus and the Carpenter sous chef who robbed a bank and was killed by police. Seattle-based author Langdon Cook's piece "Into the Woods" for EatingWell magazine, a look at mushroom foraging in Washington, also got a nod in the Home Cooking category. Winners for the writing categories will be announced April 26.