Food News

Portland Monthly Food Critic Karen Brooks Snags a James Beard Nomination

This is her third time being named a finalist for the award, which she won in 2017. Plus, several other Portlanders are in the running for media awards.

By Katherine Chew Hamilton April 26, 2023

Karen Brooks at the James Beard Awards in New York in 2017 

Portland has already made big waves in the James Beard Foundation’s Restaurant and Chef awards this year, with three Oregon chefs in the running and one Portland restaurant still in the competition. The 2023 James Beard Media Award nominees were announced on April 26, and our own food critic Karen Brooks is continuing to make our city proud. She was one of just three writers nationwide nominated for the Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award. 

Brooks earned her nomination with a set of three restaurant reviews: “Vietnamese Food Goes Rogue at Portland’s Berlu”; “Kann Is Portland Monthly’s Restaurant of the Year: 2022”; and “Michelin-Starred Chef Matthew Lightner Seeds Oregon’s Next Food Revolution at Okta.”  Bill Addison of the Los Angeles Times and Soleil Ho of the San Francisco Chronicle are also competing for the award, which will be announced at a ceremony in Chicago on June 3. 

Brooks was nominated for the same award in 2015, with a set of reviews that included one on downtown Portland gem Maurice, which she recently revisited in a three-part review. In 2017, she was nominated and won the restaurant review award for a trio of reviews that included one on Jose Chesa’s 180, one on Pizza Jerk, and one on unexpected brunches. 

Several other Portlanders are in the running for other media awards. Eater Portland’s Brooke Jackson-Glidden was nominated for the Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award. Portland-based podcast Copper and Heat, which won the Best Podcast award in 2019, has been nominated again. All the Homies Network, a content collective that includes Kim Dam from Portland Cà Phê, Ethan and Geri Leung from Baon Kainan, and Richard and Sophia Le from Matta, was nominated for its Youtube video, Restaurant Takeover ft. Matta. And Portland cookbook author Hannah Che received a nomination in the vegetable-focused cookbook category with The Vegan Chinese Kitchen: Recipes and Modern Stories from a Thousand-Year-Old Tradition. 

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