Three Portlanders are coming home with James Beard Awards, the lofty culinary prize named after Portland-born chef James Beard that held its awards ceremony last night.
Naomi Pomeroy of Beast and Expatriate takes home the prize for Best Chef Northwest. Pomeroy, a four-time nominee, said upon accepting the Northwest chef prize, “I feel like I’m taking this award home for everybody in the Northwest.” She also thanked fellow Portland finalist Cathy Whims of Nostrana and Oven and Shaker, who maintains her Susan Lucci status with now six nominations for the award.
Pok Pok founder Andy Ricker took home an award for food writing, not for his estimable book but for an article he wrote in Saveur, "Star of Siam," about the variety of Thai curries. You can read the article here, which comes with recipes. Ricker took home the Best Chef Northwest award in 2011.
And in an oddball twist, Portlandia's Fred Armisen won a James Beard Award for broadcast journalism. He was one of the award recipients for a segment on NPR radio program This American Life, about an Oklahoma meat plant selling pig intestines as calamari. Armisen had been hosting the "Doppelgängers" program as a joke, entirely in the character of Ira Glass. Listen to the show here.
Clyde Common, up for the outstanding bar program award, lost out to New York's Bar at the NoMad Hotel. This news was received just after the bar and restaurant said it would replace chef Johnny Leach, an alum of New York's Momofuku, with sous chef Carlo Lamagna.
And as previously announced, Nick's Italian Cafe in McMinnville got a James Beard American Classic Award. Following that announcement, Willamette Week took a trip down to the restaurant, recommending it as a great spot to stop by after the International Pinot Noir Celebration.