The James Beard foundation announced the nominees for their 2018 awards, named after Portland’s own culinary pioneer. James Beard is renowned as America’s first foodie, helming numerous cookbooks, television shows and other modern endeavors that brought food to the forefront of the American consciousness. As a pioneer for cuisine, it seems fitting that 17 of the 2018 James Beard Awards Oregon Nominees are located in the legendary culinary expert’s hometown.

Semifinalists for the 2018 James Beard Awards Oregon in the Best Chefs Northwest category include Katy Millard of Coquine, Bonnie Morales of Kachka, and Justin Woodward at Castagna. Pictured above is Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Bar Manager (left) and Benjamin Amberg, Beverage Director (right), representing Clyde Common, semifinalist for Outstanding Bar Program.

Unlike James Beard, many of the nominees on the list aren’t Oregon natives, but have settled in the Pacific Northwest after falling in love with the abundance of local produce and dedication to culinary craftsmanship and sustainable and chef-driven food production methods. Bucking the trend of being a transplant, 2018 James Beard Award Oregon Nominee Painted Lady restaurant owner Jessica Bagley-Routt grew up in Southern Oregon and studied the culinary arts in Portland before exploring the country and ultimately finding her dream location in Newburg. Another exception on the list of 2018 James Beard Award Oregon Nominees is Peter Cho of Han Oak. Born in Korea and raised in Oregon, he attended the University of Oregon before traveling around the country and ultimately settling back in Portland with his extended family.

Take a look at the full list of 2018 James Beard Award Oregon Nominees:

Outstanding Baker

Ken Forkish, Trifecta Tavern, Portland, OR

Outstanding Bar Program

Clyde Common, Portland, OR

Outstanding Chef

Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon, Portland, OR

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Kristen Murray, Måurice, Portland, OR

Outstanding Restauranteur

Monique Siu, Portland, OR (Castagna and Café Castagna)

Outstanding Service

The Painted Lady Restaurant, Newberg, OR

Outstanding Wine Program

Noble Rot, Portland, OR

Rising Star Chef of the Year

Maya Lovelace, Mae, Portland, OR

Best Chef: Northwest

Peter Cho, Han Oak, Portland, OR

Gregory Gourdet, Departure, Portland, OR

Ha (Christina) Luu and Peter Luu, Ha VL, Portland, OR

Katy Millard, Coquine, Portland, OR

Sarah Minnick, Lovely’s Fifty Fifty, Portland, OR

Bonnie Morales, Kachka, Portland, OR

Narumol (Nong) Poonsukwattana, Nong’s Khao Man Gai, Portland, OR

Ryan Roadhouse, Nodoguro, Portland, OR

Justin Woodward, Castagna, Portland, OR

The 2018 James Beard Awards Gala will take place on Monday, May 7, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago where the winners will be announced. Until then, check out all the amazing James Beard Award Oregon Nominees – all notable eat and drink spots worth a visit.

Photo credit: alanweinerphotography.com