Ten Seattle chefs and restaurants have been named semifinalists for prestigious James Beard awards, considered the Oscars of the food industry.
Among the surprises announced Wednesday morning: The Vietnamese American sisters Yenvy and Quynh-Vy Pham of the Phở Bắc series were nominated in the Outstanding Restaurateur category. Under the helm of the second-generation owners, Phở Bắc has expanded its brand to target the young and hip. In recent years, the sisters have opened a Vietnamese gourmet coffee house, a speak-easy-inspired Asian cocktail bar and now a cafe called The Boat that specializes in one dish: com ga mam toi, or garlicky chicken rice.
Another surprise semifinalist was butcher and restaurateur Kevin Smith of Beast & Cleaver in Ballard, whose burgers and tasting menus are often in high demand around Seattle. Smith was named one of the 20 rising stars in the Emerging Chef category.
The finalists will be announced March 29 and the winners will be named on June 5 in Chicago. Other semifinalists around Washington state are listed below. For the complete national list, check here.
Washington James Beard semifinalists
Renee Erickson, The Walrus and the Carpenter
Yenvy and Quynh-Vy Pham, Phở Bắc Sup Shop, Phởcific Standard Time, The Boat
Outstanding Bar Program
Kevin Smith, Beast & Cleaver
The Black Cypress (Pullman)
Best Chefs: Northwest and Pacific
Melissa Miranda, Musang
David Nichols, Eight Row
Mutsuko Soma, Kamonegi
Aaron Verzosa, Archipelago
Tony Brown, the Ruins (Spokane)
Dan Koommoo, Crafted (Yakima)