February 17th, 2011 | bwaterhouse Food & Drink |

Portland's 2011 James Beard Award Semifinalists

Now with 100 Percent More Ken Forkish

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The semifinalists for this year's James Beard Awards have been announced, and the list of Portlanders eligible for the nation's most prestigious food awards looks...exactly the same as last year's. Check it out:

Best Chef, Northwest (repeats in italics)

2010: Oswaldo Bibiano (Autentica), John Gorham (Toro Bravo), Jenn Louis (Lincoln), Naomi Pomeroy, (Beast), Andy Ricker (Pok Pok), Gabriel Rucker (Le Pigeon), Cathy Whims (Nostrana).

2011: John Gorham (Toro Bravo), Christopher Israel (Gruner), Jenn Louis (Lincoln), Andy Ricker (Pok Pok), Gabriel Rucker (Le Pigeon), Cathy Whims (Nostrana).

Outstanding Restaurant
2010: Higgins Restaurant & Bar
2011: Higgins Restaurant & Bar

Rising Star Chef of the Year
2010: Matt Lightner (Castagna), Gabriel Rucker (Le Pigeon).
2011: Matt Lightner (Castagna), Gabriel Rucker (Le Pigeon).

Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional
2010: Steve McCarthy (Clear Creek Distillery).
2011: Steve McCarthy (Clear Creek Distillery).

The only notable differences between last year's semifinalists and this year's is that Portland is not represented in the 2011 "best new restaurant" category (last year Ping was listed), and that Ken Forkish of Ken's Artisan Bakery is a semifinalist this year for "outstanding pastry chef." He deserves it. Have you tried that croissant?

The nominees (meaning finalists) for this year's awards will be announced in Portland March 21.
 
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