Hometown Pride

Oregon Nabs 16 James Beard Semifinalist Nominations

2019 could be a big year for our hometown food heroes.

By Benjamin Tepler February 27, 2019

Today, the James Beard Foundation announced its list of 2019 James Beard Award semifinalists. As is the norm, Oregon raked in 16 nominations, 14 of which are for Portland restaurants. The two outliers, Marché (Outstanding Restaurant) and Alejandro Cruz, Novo Modern Latin Table (Best Chef NW) both hail from Eugene, a city that rarely grabs the attention of regional James Beard panelists. 

The usual, perennially-nominated suspects include Justin Woodward (Castagna), Katy Millard (Coquine), Kristen Murray (Maurice), and Gabriel Rucker (Le Pigeon). First-time recognition goes to PoMo’s 2018 Restaurant of the Year, Canard (Best New Restaurant), Expatriate (Best New Bar Program), and Davenport (Best Wine Program).

Stay tuned on Wednesday, March 27 for the finalist round. Winners will be announced on May 6 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Will our hometown food idols make it to the top after last year’s shut-out? Fingers crossed!

Oregon’s 2019 James Beard Semifinalists

Best New Restaurant 


Outstanding Baker

Kim Boyce, Bakeshop

Outstanding Bar Program


Outstanding Chef

Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon

Outstanding Restaurant

Marché, Eugene, OR

Outstanding Restaurateur 

Earl Ninsom, Langbaan 

Outstanding Wine Program


Best Chef: Northwest

Alejandro Cruz, Novo Modern Latin Table, Eugene, OR

Jose Chesa, Ataula

Peter Cho, Han Oak

Gregory Gourdet, Departure 

Christina Luu and Peter Vuong, Ha VL 

Katy Millard, Coquine

Kristen Murray, Maurice

Ryan Roadhouse, Nodoguro

Justin Woodward, Castagna

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