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Here Are the 2018 James Beard Award Semifinalists for Seattle

Junebaby, chef Renee Erickson, and 18 others get nods

Renee Erickson, semifinalist for Outstanding Chef for her work at Bateau
Morgen Schuler for Eater

The semifinalists for the 2018 James Beard Foundation awards were announced Thursday morning and several Seattle chefs and restaurants made the cut. The awards, sometimes considered equivalent to the Oscars in the food world, are to be announced May 7 in Chicago. In mid-March, the names below will be whittled down to a smaller list of finalists.

By the numbers, it’s similar to 2017 — 20 Seattle or Washington semifinalists compared to 21 last year. There’s plenty of overlap: places like Canon and Wild Ginger get nods again in the same categories, while Canlis makes it onto the Outstanding Restaurant longlist, and Renee Erickson from steaky Bateau appears in the Outstanding Chef category. Only one new restaurant (Junebaby) gets a nomination, compared to two last year.

It’s also a more progressive list in terms of gender equality — while just one woman was named as a semifinalist last year, there’s five this time around, including Erickson, and Holly Smith of Cafe Juanita.

View the full semifinalist list over here; meanwhile, here are the Seattle and Washington state names who are in the running.

Best New Restaurant

Outstanding Baker

  • Evan Andres of Columbia City Bakery

Outstanding Bar Program

  • Canon, Seattle

Outstanding Chef

  • Renee Erickson of Bateau, Seattle
  • Blaine Wetzel of the Willows Inn on Lummi Island, Washington
  • Holly Smith of Cafe Juanita in Kirkland, Washington

Outstanding Restaurant

  • Canlis, Seattle

Outstanding Restaurateur

  • Angela and Ethan Stowell of Ethan Stowell Restaurants in Seattle (restaurants include Staple & Fancy, Tavolàta, and How to Cook a Wolf)

Outstanding Wine Program

  • Wild Ginger, Seattle

Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional

  • Dave Green of Skagit Valley Malting in Burlington, Washington

Rising Star Chef of the Year

  • Shota Nakajima of Adana in Seattle
  • Maximillian Petty of Eden Hill in Seattle
  • Jay Blackinton of Hogstone’s Wood Oven and Aelder in Orcas Island, Washington

Best Chef: Northwest

  • Eric Donnelly of Rockcreek in Seattle
  • Edouardo Jordan of Salare in Seattle
  • Taichi Kitamura of Sushi Kappo Tamura in Seattle
  • Mark Schroder of Opus Co. in Seattle
  • Mutsuko Soma of Kamonegi in Seattle
  • Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi of Joule in Seattle
  • Anna Vogel of Italia Trattoria in Spokane

There were no Seattle or Washington semifinalists for Outstanding Pastry Chef or Outstanding Service this year.

RockCreek Seafood & Spirits

4300 Fremont Avenue North, , WA 98103 (206) 557-7532 Visit Website


1449 East Pine Street, , WA 98122 (206) 294-5230 Visit Website

Tamura Sushi Kappo

2968 Eastlake Avenue East, Seattle, WA 98102 (206) 547-0937 Visit Website


928 12th Avenue, , WA 98122 Visit Website

Wild Ginger

1239 Park Street, , CA 94501 (510) 263-8128 Visit Website

Columbia City Bakery

4865 Rainier Avenue South, , WA 98118 (206) 723-6023 Visit Website


1054 North 39th Street, , WA 98103 (206) 632-0185 Visit Website


3506 Stone Way North, , WA 98103 (206) 632-5685 Visit Website

Cafe Juanita

9702 Northeast 120th Place, , WA 98034 (425) 823-1505 Visit Website

Eden Hill

2209 Queen Anne Avenue North, , WA 98109 (206) 708-6836 Visit Website

Opus Co.

7410 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103 (206) 420-8360 Visit Website

The Willows Inn

2579 West Shore Drive, Lummi Island,, WA 98262 (360) 758-2620


2404 Northeast 65th Street, , WA 98115 (206) 556-2192 Visit Website


2122 Northeast 65th Street, , WA 98115 (206) 257-4470 Visit Website


1040 East Union Street, , WA 98122 (206) 900-8699 Visit Website

Hogstone's Wood Oven

460 Main Street, , WA 98245 (360) 376-4647 Visit Website


460 Main Street, , WA 98245 Visit Website


2576 Aurora Avenue North, , WA 98109 (206) 283-3313 Visit Website