Today, the James Beard Foundation announced its list of 2019 James Beard Award semifinalists. As is the norm, Oregon raked in 16 nominations, 14 of which are for Portland restaurants. The two outliers, Marché (Outstanding Restaurant) and Alejandro Cruz, Novo Modern Latin Table (Best Chef NW) both hail from Eugene, a city that rarely grabs the attention of regional James Beard panelists. 

The usual, perennially-nominated suspects include Justin Woodward (Castagna), Katy Millard (Coquine), Kristen Murray (Maurice), and Gabriel Rucker (Le Pigeon). First-time recognition goes to PoMo’s 2018 Restaurant of the Year, Canard (Best New Restaurant), Expatriate (Best New Bar Program), and Davenport (Best Wine Program).

Stay tuned on Wednesday, March 27 for the finalist round. Winners will be announced on May 6 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Will our hometown food idols make it to the top after last year’s shut-out? Fingers crossed!

Oregon’s 2019 James Beard Semifinalists

Best New Restaurant 

Canard

Outstanding Baker

Kim Boyce, Bakeshop

Outstanding Bar Program

Expatriate 

Outstanding Chef

Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon

Outstanding Restaurant

Marché, Eugene, OR

Outstanding Restaurateur 

Earl Ninsom, Langbaan 

Outstanding Wine Program

Davenport

Best Chef: Northwest

Alejandro Cruz, Novo Modern Latin Table, Eugene, OR

Jose Chesa, Ataula

Peter Cho, Han Oak

Gregory Gourdet, Departure 

Christina Luu and Peter Vuong, Ha VL 

Katy Millard, Coquine

Kristen Murray, Maurice

Ryan Roadhouse, Nodoguro

Justin Woodward, Castagna

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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

Nodoguro

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

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

Editor’s Pick

Måurice

$$ Bakery, Scandinavian 921 SW Oak St

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

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...

Editor’s Pick

Hà 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...

Editor’s Pick

Departure Restaurant & Lounge

$$$ Asian, Vegan, Vegetarian 525 SW Morrison St

When New York high-end kitchen vet Gregory Gourdet took over the Nines hotel’s astro-sleek 15th-floor restaurant in 2010, it was better known for its bridge-...

Editor’s Pick

Han Oak

$$ Korean 511 NE 24th Ave

An unmarked door at the end of a tiny parking lot in Northeast leads to a hidden restaurant space that doubles as chef/owner Peter Cho’s home, charming front...

Editor’s Pick

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.

Editor’s Pick

Davenport

$$$ Mediterranean, Pacific Northwest 2215 E Burnside St

At Davenport, you’ll find two guys doing what they love and hoping someone will show up. In the kitchen, Kevin Gibson, veteran of Castagna and cult diner Evo...

Editor’s Pick

Langbaan

$$$$ Thai 6 SE 28th Ave

This cozy, cramped kitchen hidden in the back room of Thai restaurant PaaDee looks like a foodie’s vision of a Bangkok night market, with herbs everywhere, s...

Editor’s Pick

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...

Editor’s Pick

Expatriate

$$ Asian, Breakfast / Brunch 5424 NE 30th Ave

Candlelight spotlights what matters here: two turntables spinning vintage moods, outsized images of old European movies projected on the wall, drinks balance...

Editor’s Pick

Bakeshop

$ Bakery 5351 NE Sandy Blvd

Northeast Portland's Bakeshop turns out addictive, seasonal handpies, tarts, and croissants.

Editor’s Pick

Canard

$$ American, Breakfast / Brunch 734 east burnside

If you've ever wondered what a breakfast joint from James Beard star Gabriel Rucker might look like, have a gander at Canard: a marble eating counter flanked...

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