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The James Beard foundation just dropped its long list of semifinalists for the 2017 award season. Unsurprisingly, Oregon crushed it, beating out last year's record with 19 nominations, 16 of which belong to Portland establishments. Portland earned more nominations in the "Best Chef: Northwest" category than any other city (eight, compared to Seattle's seven).

Some newcomers to the list include two of Portland Monthly’s 2016 Restaurants of the YearHan Oak for “Best New Restaurant” and Mae's Maya Lovelace for “Rising Star Chef of the Year.” A long-deserved call-out spotlights Castagna restaurateur Monique Siu for “Outstanding Restaurateur,” known for her co-ownership of Portland’s most mythical restaurant, Zefiro, and for shepherding talents Kevin Gibson, Matthew Lightner, and Justin Woodward (also a nominee) through her Southeast modernist stronghold.

Another sleeper nomination: Ha VL’s matriarch of Vietnamese soup, Ha (Christina) Luu for “Best Chef Northwest.” 

Check back on March 15, when the finalists are announced ahead of the May 1 award ceremony.

Best Chef: Northwest

Jose Chesa, Ataula

Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton, Ox

Ha (Christina) Luu, Ha VL

Joshua McFadden, Ava Gene’s 

Katy Millard, Coquine 

Sarah Pliner, Aviary

Ryan Roadhouse, Nodoguro

Justin Woodward, Castagna

Best New Restaurant

Han Oak

Outstanding Baker

Ken Forkish, Ken’s Artisan Bakery

Outstanding Bar Program

Clyde Common

Outstanding Chef 

Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon

Outstanding Pastry Chef 

Kristen Murray, Maurice

Outstanding Restaurateur

Monique Siu, Castagna

Outstanding Service

The Painted Lady Restaurant

Outstanding Wine Program

Jory at the Allison Inn & Spa

Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional

Greg Lorenz, SakéOne 

Steve McCarthy, Clear Creek Distillery 

Rising Star Chef of the Year 

Maya Lovelace, Mae

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In this Article

The Painted Lady

$$$$ New American 201 S College Street

The Painted Lady Restaurant has a seasonal menu of organic seafood, produce, meat, and wine from their neighbors—Oregon’s world-class ranchers, farmers and v...

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Måurice

$$ Bakery, Scandinavian 921 SW Oak ST

Kristin Murray curates every molecule of flavor at her strange and delightful French-Scandinavian “pastry luncheonette,” where the experience veers from twee...

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Le Pigeon

$$$ French, New American 738 E Burnside St

Gabriel Rucker is a Portland original whose ideas have crackled into something electric. Working off-the-cuff in his own world of complex flavor combinations...

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Clyde Common

$$$ New American, Pacific Northwest 1014 SW Stark St

Set in the ground floor of the Ace Hotel, Clyde Common has a tastefully informal chic vibe—and the bar serves the best negroni in town, barrel-aged into some...

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Ken's Artisan Bakery

$ Bakery 338 NW 21st Ave

Ken Forkish churns out buttery croissants, divine pastries, and hearty loaves at this Portland-meets-France bakery on NW 21st in the Alphabet District.

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Nodoguro

$$$$ Japanese, Sushi 2832 SE Belmont St.

Formal Japanese feasts goosed with pop culture flair and hardcore omakase sushi nights—this is Nodoguru.

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Aviary

$$ Asian 1733 NE Alberta St

At the always eclectic Aviary on NE Alberta Street in the Alberta Arts neighborhood, chef Sarah Pliner fuses Asian and western ingredients with style and whimsy.

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Coquine

$$$ New American, Pacific Northwest 6839 SE Belmont Street

Coquine's talented young Katy Millard crafts thoughtful, everyday food and drink, day and night. Vegetables get top billing: a salad that digs into squash (w...

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Ava Gene's

$$$ Italian 3377 SE Division St

In the neighborhood that birthed Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Duane Sorenson’s ode to Italy, Brooklyn, and the People’s Republic of Portland swings like an ind...

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Ox

$$$ Latin American, Steakhouse 2225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton’s meaty love story is told over flames erupting from a hand-cranked grill. Don’t miss their Uruguayan beef rib eye ...

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Ataula

$$$ Spanish 1818 NW 23rd Pl

Ataula brings the best of Catalan and Spanish cuisine with to the Alphabet District in Portland with chef Jose Chesa's creative takes on Iberian classics like paella and wine-friendly tapas.

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HA VL

$ Vietnamese 2738 SE 82nd Ave

Owners Ha “Christina” Luu and William Voung are artisans, crafting small-batch regional Vietnamese soups with flavorful free-range chickens, meticulously ski...

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Castagna

$$$$ Dessert, Modern, Pacific Northwest 1752 SE Hawthorne Blvd

A culinary poet and dessert artist, chef Justin Woodward splices seasonal high points, technical feats, and concentrated sauces into spare compositions of st...

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Mae

$$$ Breakfast / Brunch, Pop-Up, Southern 5027 NE 42nd Ave

Maya Lovelace transplants a new vision of Southern comfort.

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Han Oak

$$ Korean 511 NE 24th Ave

Buzzy Korean cuisine seems ripe for the “Portland treatment”—and it gets the works at Peter Cho’s Han Oak. An unmarked door at the end of a tiny parking lot ...