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Of the four Portland-based finalists for this year’s James Beard Awards, none took home the gold at the May 7 awards ceremony. Those finalists (Coquine’s Katy Millard, Kachka’s Bonnie Morales, Castagna’s Justin Woodward, and Clyde Common) were beat by Seattle’s Edouardo Jordan, who took home the Best Chef: Northwest medal for his first restaurant, Salare, and the coveted award for Best New Restaurant in the country, for his blazing-hot JuneBaby. Jordan is the first African American to take home the Best New Restaurant prize. (And yes, it’s worth the three-hour drive from Portland.)

In stark contrast to the usual penchant for white, male chefs, this year’s roster of winners was flush with chefs and pastry pros of all genders and ethnicities, including Prune’s Gabrielle Hamilton in San Francisco and Dolester Miles, the very longtime pastry chef for Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, Al. (It might have something to do with those recent sexual harassment claims against industry bigwigs like Mario Batali and Ken Friedman.) 

Portland did take home a few awards at the 2018 James Beard Media Awards, held on April 27. Ava Gene’s chef and restaurateur Joshua McFadden and cookbook whiz Martha Holmberg won for “Vegetable-Focused Cooking” with their Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables. Sort-of local Jim Meehan also won an award in the “Beverage” department for his Meehan's Bartender Manual. For the uninitiated, Meehan was an important player in the birth and growth of modern mixology (he authored 2011's PDT Cocktail Book), and he relocated from Manhattan to Portland several years ago.

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Editor’s Pick

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...

Editor’s Pick

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...

Editor’s Pick

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...

Editor’s Pick

Kachka

$$ Eastern European Multiple Locations

Portland is surveying a new frontier: Russia. Kachka’s boisterous take on the country’s traditional cuisine, as reimagined by chef Bonnie Morales and her hus...

Editor’s Pick

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...