The James Beard Award is a great honour, one that many chefs aspire to win. Washington chefs and restaurants are no stranger to these awards, restaurants like Oriental Mart, Canlis and Mankei have been winners. Similarly Chefs like Renee Erickson, Brady Williams and Matt Dillon have also been winners.

The semifinalists were announced on February 23rd and mark the return of the award ceremony which has been on hiatus to since 2019. This year a whole new crop of Washingtonians are nominated for the award, 16 in total across a variety of award categories. They are as follows.

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Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule (Outstanding Chef)
The Walrus and the Carpenter (Outstanding Restaurant)
Kristi Brown, Communion (Emerging Chef)
Matia Kitchen & Bar, Orcas Island (Best New Restaurant)
Pamela Vuong, The Flour Box (Outstanding Baker)
Bar del Corso (Outstanding Hospitality)
Tomo (Outstanding Wine Program)
Nick Coffey, Ursa Minor (Best Chef: Northwest and Pacific)
Erasto Jackson, Lil Red’s Takeout and Catering (Best Chef: Northwest and Pacific)
Liz Kenyon, Rupee Bar (Best Chef: Northwest and Pacific)
Melissa Miranda, Musang (Best Chef: Northwest and Pacific)
David Nichols, Eight Row (Best Chef: Northwest and Pacific)
Brandon Pettit, Delancey (Best Chef: Northwest and Pacific)
Mutsuko Soma, Kamonegi (Best Chef: Northwest and Pacific)
Aaron Verzosa, Archipelago (Best Chef: Northwest and Pacific)
Chad White, Zona Blanca, Spokane (Best Chef: Northwest and Pacific)

If you needed a reminder of what an amazing food scene Seattle and Washington has as a whole, let this be it. The final James Beard Award winners will be announced on Monday, June 13th, so until then, be sure to try out at least a few of these restaurants.