Castagna and Ox Chefs Nab James Beard Best Chef Northwest 2016 Finalist Slots

Castagna's Justin Woodward and Ox's Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton represent Portland, plus nods for Clyde Common's bar program, Country Cat's cookbook, and Eater's multimedia eye candy.

By Kelly Clarke March 16, 2016

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Portland’s food scene has a lot to crow about this week as the James Beard Awards, aka America’s Food Oscars, announced finalists for its 2016 awards. Both of the city’s Best Chef Northwest nominees are repeats from 2015, with Argentinean fire masters Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton of Ox and Castagna’s modernist ace Justin Woodward garnering finalist spots.

Seattle’s Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi of Joule also made the final five; of note for locals since the pair just announced they’ll open a Korean-leaning spot in Industrial Southeast in cahoots with the bar crew behind Tube and Fortune (Eater’s got the deets). Meanwhile, Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s well-regarded Clyde Common got another nod for Outstanding Bar Program. The James Beard awards ceremony will take place May 2 in Chicago. 

Additional kudos: the Country Cat’s cookbook Heartlandia nabbed a finalist spot in the James Beard Book Awards: American Cooking category for restaurant owners Adam and Jackie Sappington and collaborator Ashley Gartland (we published their amazing pecan spoonbread recipe last fall; you should bake it immediately). Portland also represented in the James Beard Journalism Awards: Visual Storytelling category for Eater’s eye-poppingly fun “One Night: Kachka” multimedia smorgasbord, produced by Portland food media stalwarts Erin DeJesus, Danielle Centoni, Jen Stevenson, and photographer Dina Avila, along with “foodie filmmaker” McGraw Wolfman.

One more thing: a special shout-out for Allecia Vermillion, a Senior Editor at PoMo’s sister publication Seattle Met. The Seattle journalist scored a Beard Journalism Awards: Profile finalist berth for her fascinating long read, “The Brief Extraordinary Life of Cody Spafford.”

Here’s the full list of Portland nominees. Read ‘em and cheers.

The 2016 JBF Restaurant and Chef Awards
Winners will be announced on May 2, 2016.

Best Chef: Northwest

Greg Denton and
Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton
Portland, OR

Mike Easton
Il Corvo Pasta

Renee Erickson
The Whale Wins

Justin Woodward
Portland, OR

Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi

Outstanding Bar Program

Arnaud’s French 75 Bar
New Orleans

Bar Agricole
San Francisco

Clyde Common
Portland, OR

New Orleans

Maison Premiere
Brooklyn, NY 

2016 James Beard Foundation Book Awards
For books published in English in 2015. Winners will be announced on April 26, 2016.

American Cooking

The Beetlebung Farm Cookbook
Chris Fischer
(Little, Brown and Company)

Heartlandia: Heritage Recipes from Portland's The Country Cat
Adam and Jackie Sappington with Ashley Gartland
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

The Southerner's Cookbook
David DiBenedetto and the Editors of Garden & Gun
(Harper Wave)

The winner of the Book of the Year Award and the Cookbook Hall of Fame inductee will be announced on April 26, 2016.

2016 James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards
For articles published in English in 2015. Winners will be announced on April 26, 2016.

Visual Storytelling

“How to Make the World’s Best Cheeseburger, Using Magic”
Eric Gillin and Andrew Jive

“One Night: Kachka”
Erin DeJesus, Danielle Centoni, Jen Stevenson,
Dina Avila, McGraw Wolfman

“Smells the Same”
Joana Avillez
Lucky Peach

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