BEASTMASTER: Food Wine announced at a New York bash last week that Beast maven Naomi Pomeroy is one of the magazine’s 10 Best New Chefs of 2009. Locals might dispute the “new” part, but the “best” is a fair adjective. Pomeroy, who co-owned PDX’s Ripe restaurant group before parting ways with husband Michael Hebb and opening Beast in 2007, was the only woman who nabbed Best New Chef honors this year. “I’m the solo chick representing all the girls of the world,” marveled Pomeroy. “It’s an honor; it’s so badass.” The chef, who was in New York this past week for the FW announcement and photo shoot, says she hopes to plan some dinners with co-winners Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook of L.A.’s Animal.“They are our evil fraternal twins in L.A.,” she says.The 2009 Best Chefs issue of Food Wine should hit newsstands in June.
COOL HAND SHAWN: Wondering why you saw fewer reviews from Oregonian film critic Shawn Levy this winter? He was rushing final galleys of his newest biography, Paul Newman: A Life, to Random House’s Harmony Books for an expedited release after the actor’s death last September. The book will be published May 5; Levy’s appearances will include introducing an April 25 screening of Hud at Cinema 21. Among the book’s Oregon-centered revelations: The alcoholic Newman (whose drinking tastes tended toward a case of beer a day) steeled himself against a fear of heights to climb Newport’s 80-foot trees in the 1971 film adaptation of Sometimes a Great Notion by adding “whiskey, and lots of it, to his daily diet of beers.”
PANNED: Anthony Sanchez, who had helped choose music acts at Berbati’s Pan since 2006, has been let go as the club’s full-time booker. “They said I wasn’t fired, [but] that Berbati’s [moving] in a different direction, and I wasn’t going in that direction with them,” says Sanchez. The club is notorious for sudden house-cleanings. “Everyone who works there has been fired five times,” booker Chantelle Hylton told WW after being fired in ’06. Sanchez had turned the club into the home base for PDX hip-hop. His replacement, former Towne Lounge booker (and MusicfestNW volunteer coordinator) Matt King, brings a track record of booking indie rock and experimental music, and says he’ll focus on bringing “epic rock shows” and more free and all-ages gigs to the club. Sanchez, though befuddled, isn’t bitter about the switch: “They’ve got their own way of doing things, and I knew that going in.”