And it’s Maria Hines for the win!  Well, I guess I lost that bet.

* * * *

The 2009 James Beard Foundation award finalists were announced yesterday, and Seattle is all up in the Best Chef: Northwest category!

  • Maria Hines for Tilth (which I still think is way overrated);
  • Joseba Jiménez de Jiménez for The Harvest Vine (I so have a picture of him on my refrigerator);
  • Ethan Stowell for Union (my favorite for the competition, especially after trying Anchovies and Olives last weekend — OUTSTANDING);
  • Jason Wilson for Crush (who I am totally rooting for as underdog);
  • and Cathy Whims for Nostrana down in Portland (which I know absolutely nothing about).

ADDITIONALLY!  The mighty Tom Douglas has again been nominated for Outstanding Restaurateur (Dahlia Lounge, Palace Kitchen, Etta’s, Lola, Serious Pie).

And rounding things out in PDX, Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon was nominated for Rising Star Chef of the Year, which doesn’t surpise me in the least.

The awards will be held on May 4th in NYC.  Kudos to all!