Pioneer Squares Girin is a semifinalist for the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant
Pioneer Square's Girin is a semifinalist for the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant Kelly O

This morning the James Beard Foundation released its list of chefs, restaurateurs, and restaurants in the running for their 2016 awards. The annual Beard Awards, the country's most prestigious restaurant honors, are commonly referred to as the "Oscars of the food world." After looking over the full list of semifinalists of mostly white chefs (many of them cooking food from other cultures around the world), the comparison is appropriate, though the Beard list is slightly more diverse than this year's list of Oscar nominees.

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Quite a few Seattleites, from industry veterans to younger chefs, are up for national awards, including Best New Restaurant, Outstanding Chef, and Outstanding Restaurant. And of the 20 semifinalists for Best Chef Northwest, seven are from Seattle, including Mike Easton (Il Corvo), Edouardo Jordan (Salare), and Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi (Joule).

Below is a list of the local semifinalists. Congratulations to everyone! (You can also find the full list here.)

Best New Restaurant


2016 Outstanding Baker

Evan Andres, Columbia City Bakery

Outstanding Bar Program


Outstanding Chef

Matt Dillon, Bar Sajor
Jerry Traunfeld, Poppy

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Junko Mine, Cafe Juanita

Outstanding Restaurant


Outstanding Restaurateur

Ethan Stowell, Ethan Stowell Restaurants

Outstanding Service

Cafe Juanita

Outstanding Wine Program

Wild Ginger

Rising Star of the Year

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Jay Blackinton, Hogstone Wood Oven, Orcas Island
Maximillian Petty, Eden Hill

Best Chef: Northwest

Eric Donnelly, RockCreek
Mike Easton, Il Corvo
Renee Erickson, the Whale Wins
Edouardo Jordan, Salare
Nathan Lockwood, Altura
Dustin Ronspies, Art of the Table
Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule