It was a promising year for Portland’s culinary elite: we had Han Oak’s Peter Cho, Coquine’s Katy Millard, and Castagna’s Justin Woodward, all vying for the honor of Best Chef Northwest. Of Oregon’s original 16 semi-finalists across multiple categories, only those three made it to the final round.

But on May 6, at the James Beard Award ceremony in Chicago, top honors went to 32-year-old Brady Williams, who has spent the past four years bringing Seattle’s storied Canlis into a new golden age of cooking. Prior to the Beard nod, Williams earned a rare four-star review from the Seattle Times and was named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs. 

This is the second year of Seattle domination (JuneBaby’s Edourdo Jordan took home the gold last year) after a major high in 2017: Ox won Best Chef Northwest, and PoMo’s very own Karen Brooks took the Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award. Well, there’s always next year.

See the full list of winners here.

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Editor’s Pick


$$$$ 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


$$$ 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

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...