Cookbooks by Portland chefs Gregory Gourdet (Everyone's Table) and Joshua McFadden (Grains for Every Season) are officially in the James Beard ring, vying for the foundation's prestigious award. Nominees were announced today for the James Beard Foundation 2022 Media Awards, which focus solely on cookbooks, broadcast media, and journalism. Read the finalists list here. Finalists in the best chefs and restaurants categories were announced in March, with three Portlanders contending for awards.
Everyone’s Table is Gourdet’s first cookbook, a triumph of global flavors but also paleo-friendly and free of dairy and gluten. He finds himself in esteemed (and highly competitive) company in the General Cookbook category, going against legends David Chang and Nigella Lawson.
But Gourdet can hold his own—and I'm laying odds on him. This is a book for the times. As I wrote in a review of Everyone's Table, “The best cookbooks offer a point of view, while expanding conversation about what and how we eat. This one has at least three: the joy of global flavors, an argument for nut milks and alternative flours, and the wonder of Haitian cooking.”
McFadden, who along with Gourdet was swept up in widespread allegations about toxic restaurant work culture in 2020, won Beard gold in 2018 for Sixth Season: A New Way with Vegetables, an instant classic. Grains for Every Season: Rethinking Our Way with Grains by McFadden and writing partner Martha Holmberg, a veteran editor and cookbook author, is competing in the Single Subject category, against books devoted to hogs and beans. The last time grains were the subject of a local cookbook, Portland came up aces, as Kim Boyce's Good to the Grain bagged an award in 2011. Could it be an omen? Stay tuned.