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Every year, Oregon takes a few steps closer to total Northwest domination, as evidenced by our state's 18 James Beard Award semi-finalists, announced February 17. No surprises here, with Portland Monthly’s Best Restaurants from 2015 and years past topping out the short list for the nation's biggest food awards. But this year’s nominations also bring some well-deserved attention to Portland’s behind-the-scenes talent, from restaurateurs like Nate Tilden (Clyde Common, Olympia Provisions) to super-talented bakers, like Bakeshop’s Kim Boyce. James Beard finalists will be announced March 15, with the final awards ceremony taking place May 2 in Chicago. Stay tuned to Eat Beat for the next round of finalists! 

Best Chef: Northwest

Jose Chesa, Ataula

Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton, Ox

Trent Pierce, Roe

Sarah Pliner, Aviary

Ryan Roadhouse, Nodoguro

Justin Woodward, Castagna

Allen Routt, Painted Lady (Newberg, OR)

Joe Kim, 5 Fusion and Sushi Bar (Bend, OR)

Best New Restaurant

Coquine

Rising Star of the Year

Doug Adams, Imperial

Ryan Fox and Ali Matteis, Nomad

Outstanding Baker

Kim Boyce, Bakeshop

Outstanding Bar Program

Clyde Common

Outstanding Chef

Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Kristen Murray, Maurice

Outstanding Restaurateur

Nate Tilden, Clyde Common, Olympia Provisions, Spirit of 77, The Richmond

Outstanding Wine Program

Jory Restaurant at the Allison Inn & Spa (Newberg, OR)

Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional

Steve McCarthy, Clear Creek Distillery

For the full list of semi-finalists, visit jamesbeard.org.