Seattle’s Award-Winning Restaurants

Seattle’s Award-Winning Restaurants

James Beard Foundation 2017 Restaurant and Chef Semi-Finalists

The James Beard Foundation awards have been called the Oscars of the North American food world. In February, the prestigious James Beard Foundation released their list of semi-finalists for the 2017 Restaurant and Chef Awards.

With nineteen 2017 James Beard Foundation semi-finalists, your downtown Seattle vacation rental home is perfectly located near a variety of stellar dining experiences. Here’s the official list of Seattle’s 2017 James Beard Award semi-finalists by category.

Best Chef, Northwest
These chefs have set new or consistent standards of excellent in their respective regions. Nominees may be from any kind of dining establishing and must have five years’ experience, with the three most recent years spent in their region.

Eric Donnelly is the executive chef at RockCreek Seafood & Spirits. This Freemont neighborhood restaurant and bar centers around globally-sourced seafood from well-managed fisheries.

Mike Easton is chef/owner of Il Corvo. Handmade pasta and daily specials make this downtown Seattle Italian restaurant perfect for lunch or dinner.

Edouardo Jordan is chef/owner of Salare, a chef-driven, Ravenna neighborhood restaurant blending exotic influences with classic American fare.

Kotaro Kumita is chef/general manager at Wataru, which focuses on Edomae-style sushi.

Nathan Lockwood is the chef/owner of Altura, an Italian fine dining restaurant in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Shaun McCrain is chef/owner of Copine, a contemporary American restaurant utilizing classic French techniques.

Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi are chef/owners of Joule. Here they blend Korean flavors and classic techniques.

Outstanding Chef
Nominees are North American chefs, with five years’ experience, whose careers have set national industry standards and who inspire other food professionals.

Matt Dillon is the busy chef of Sitka & Spruce in Capitol Hill, Corson Building in Georgetown, and Bar Sajor in Pioneer Square.

Blaine Wetzel is head chef of Willows Inn and Lummi Island which prides itself on a prix fixe menu that is seasonal and local.

Outstanding Baker
Nominees have at least five years’ baking or pastry chef experience and serve as a national standard-bearer of excellence.

Evan Andres bakes at Columbia City Bakery, which also supplies area farmer’s markets with their tasty baked goods.

Rising Star Chef of the Year
These chefs are 30 years old or younger, display impressive talent, and are likely to make a significant impact on the industry.

Jay Blackinton is chef, farmer, and co-owner of Hogstones Wood Oven on Orcas Island. They craft wood fired vegetable dishes and pizzas from locally-sourced ingredients. Menu changes weekly and often daily.

Best New Restaurant
Restaurants opened in 2016 that display excellence in food, beverage, and service and are likely to make a significant impact on the dining scene.

No Anchor in the Belltown neighborhood is a beer bar and Pacific Northwest restaurant focusing on fresh, local, sustainable ingredients.

Upper Bar Ferdinand in Capitol Hill’s Chophouse Row focuses on pairing small production wines and spirits with a simple food menu including dry aged and cured meats, local seafood, bread, and vegetables.

Outstanding Restauranteur
Working restauranteur with ten years’ in the restaurant business who sets high national standards in operations and entrepreneurship. Cannot have won a James Beard Foundation chef award in five years.

Ethan Stowell of Ethan Stowell Restaurants has a stable of over a dozen restaurants, including Staple & Fancy, Tavolata, and Anchovies & Olives.

Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirts Professional
Professional making significant national impact on the industry.

Wayne Carpenter with Skagit Valley Malting is a custom malt house ushering in a new, modernized era of malt.

Outstanding Wine Program
Restaurant at least five years old serving as national standard bearer for excellence in wine service with a well-presented wine list, knowledgeable staff, and customer education focus.

Canlis was established in 1950 and has defined contemporary Northwest cuisine. They have one of the finest cellars in the world and feature 5 sommeliers, 2,5000 selections, and 18,000 bottles.

Wild Ginger has a temperature-controlled cellar with over 30,000 bottles. Their knowledgeable wine team oversees a wine program that consistently wins awards from Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Washington Wine Commission, and more.

Outstanding Bar Program
Restaurant or bar demonstrating excellence in cocktail, spirits, and or beer service.

With over 3,500 labels and counting, Canon has the western hemisphere’s largest spirit collection. This Capitol Hill cocktail bar is also a restaurant serving upscale American cuisine.


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