Portland Comes Home Empty-Handed at the 2016 James Beard Awards

Washington takes Best Chef Northwest for the second year in a row.

By Benjamin Tepler May 3, 2016

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It was another disappointing year for Portland at the 2016 James Beard Awards, which took place May 2 in Chicago. Despite a strong showing from Rose City finalist contenders (including Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton for Ox and Justin Woodward for Castagna), it was not meant to be. 

This is the second year in a row that Portland came up short, with Seattle’s talented Renee Erickson (The Whale Wins) taking home the gold for Best Chef Northwest. Last year, Blaine Wetzel, chef at the Willows Inn on Lummi Island, Washington, broke Portland’s 2-year winning run, set by Beast’s Naomi Pomeroy (2014) and Le Pigeon’s Gabriel Rucker (2013). Pok Pok’s Andy Ricker took the prize in 2011.

But all is not lost. Portland writers Erin DeJesus (former editor of Eater PDX), Danielle Centoni (former Imbibe and MIX Magazine editor), Jen Stevenson (food blogger), and photographer Dina Avila (a Portland Monthly contributor) took home a James Beard Book, Broadcast & Journalism award in April for their interactive feature One Night: Kachka. Check it out for yourself on Eater’s website. 

Read on for the full list of James Beard winners.

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