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Greg Denton tends to his massive grill. 

Last night, May 1, Ox went up against some big hitters at the James Beard Awards: Katy Millard (Coquine) and Justin Woodward (Castagna) in Portland and Rachel Yang/ Seif Chirchi (Joule) and Edouardo Jordan (Salare) in Seattle. 

But finally, after four years of James Beard nominations, chefs Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton took home the prize for Best Chef Northwest at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. 

The partners in life and cooking are best known for their mash-up of Argentine barbecue, Portland bravado, and French technique. One of Portland Monthly’s Restaurants of the Year 2012, the nationally-renowned eatery crested Portland’s wood-fired wave with a massive, medieval grill that became the centerpiece of the restaurant. Few can forget the image of rich clam chowder floating with jalapeños and a giant cross-section of bone marrow sinking down the middle. You can read our full 2012 review here. Last year, the couple released a cookbook chock full of restaurant favorites, including the secrets to their flawless grilled ribeye. (Find the recipe here.)

Of Portland's three restaurant finalist categories, only the Dentons came away with the elusive medal. That doesn’t include, of course, the major Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award, which went to our very own critic Karen Brooks at the James Beard Media awards.

That’s all till next year, folks!

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