Eleven chefs, four restaurants, and one baker from Washington are 2022 James Beard Award semifinalists, which were announced this morning.
As usual, many of the local semifinalists are for the best chef: Northwest and Pacific award, but a few Seattle chefs are also up for national awards, with representation from old favorites as well as up-and-coming Seattle chefs and restaurants.
This will be the first James Beard Awards held since 2019, when the awards ceremony took a two-year hiatus to examine and change its structure in response to criticism surrounding bias in the organization and the diversity of its winners (none of the 23 proposed winners for the 2020 awards, for example, were Black). Some of the categories this year are different from previous years, and the award ceremony added an emerging chef category — for which Seattle’s Kristi Brown, of Central District restaurant Communion, is a semifinalist.
The James Beard Foundation will release the short list of nominees on March 16, 2022, and will name the winners in a Chicago ceremony on June 13, 2022. See the full list of Washington semifinalists below, listed alphabetically.
Aaron Verzosa, Archipelago — best chef: Northwest and Pacific
Bar del Corso — outstanding hospitality
Brandon Pettit, Delancey — best chef: Northwest and Pacific
Erasto Jackson, Lil Red’s Takeout and Catering — best chef: Northwest and Pacific
David Nichols, Eight Row — best chef: Northwest and Pacific
Kristi Brown, Communion — emerging chef
Liz Kenyon, Rupee Bar — best chef: Northwest and Pacific
Mutsuko Soma, Kamonegi — best chef: Northwest and Pacific
Melissa Miranda, Musang — best chef: Northwest and Pacific
Pamela Vuong, The Flour Box — outstanding baker
Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule — outstanding chef
Tomo — outstanding wine program
The Walrus and the Carpenter — outstanding restaurant
Washington Nominees outside Seattle
Chad White, Zona Blanca, Spokane — best chef: Northwest and Pacific
Matia Kitchen & Bar, Orcas Island — best new restaurant
Nick Coffey, Ursa Minor, Lopez Island — best chef: Northwest and Pacific