Portland's James Beard Foundation award chef semifinalists have been whittled down to a few mighty finalists, per a press conference Tuesday morning at The Publican restaurant in Chicago. The foodie foundation's short-list of 2014 finalists will now be vetted by secret tastemakers around the country, and the winners will be announced on Monday, May 5 at the annual New York ceremony.

The list of Portland contenders might be small, but it's very strong:

  • In the Best Chef Northwest category, four-time finalist Naomi Pomeroy (Beast) and six-time finalist Cathy Whims (Nostrana) will go head-to-head with Seattle's Renee Erickson (The Whale Wins), Jason Franey (Canlis), and Ethan Stowell (Staple & Fancy).
  • Portland's über-bar Clyde Common nabbed a well-deserved nom for Outstanding Bar Program (a new category as of 2012).
  • Pok Pok's Andy Ricker (2011's Best Chef Northwestis nominated for a James Beard Journalism Award for “The Star of Siam,” his recent Thai curry article in Saveur.

Stay tuned for more James Beard Foundation Award coverage on Eat Beat, and check out the full list of 2014 James Beard Foundation Award nominees.

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