Dozens of local chefs, including a few surprises, made the cut as semifinalists for the restaurant industry's highest honor.

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The James Beard Foundation on Wednesday morning released its list of semifinalists for the coveted namesake award, the highest honor in the restaurant industry. There were several local surprises this year: No Anchor, the beer bar in Belltown, is up for “Best New Restaurant” in America while three young local chefs — Jay Blackinton of Hogstone’s Wood Oven on Orcas Island, and in Seattle, Maximillian Petty of  Eden Hill and Brady Williams of  Canlis — made the cut for the “Rising Star Chef of the Year.”

The winners will be announced on May 1. The list of Seattle-area semifinalists is below. Find the complete list of  candidates here.

Best New Restaurant

A restaurant opened in the calendar year before the award will be given that already displays excellence in food, beverage, and service, and that is likely to make a significant impact in years to come.

Upper Bar Ferdinand, Seattle

No Anchor, Seattle

Outstanding Baker

A chef or baker who prepares breads, pastries, or desserts in a retail bakery, and who serves as a national standard-bearer of excellence. Must have been working as a baker or pastry chef for at least five years.

Evan Andres, Columbia City Bakery, Seattle

Outstanding Bar Program

A restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence in cocktail, spirits, and/or beer service.

Canon, Seattle

Outstanding Chef

A working chef in America whose career has set national industry standards and who has served as an inspiration to other food professionals. Must have been working as a chef for the past five years.

Matt Dillon, Sitka & Spruce, Seattle

Blaine Wetzel, Willows Inn on Lummi Island, Lummi Island

Outstanding Restaurant

A restaurant in the United States that serves as a national standard bearer of consistent quality and excellence in food, atmosphere and service. Must have been in operation 10 or more consecutive years.

Cafe Juanita, Kirkland

Outstanding Restaurateur

A working restaurateur who sets high national standards in restaurant operations and entrepreneurship. Must have been in the restaurant business for at least 10 years. Must not have been nominated for a James Beard Foundation chef award in the past five years.

Ethan Stowell, Ethan Stowell Restaurants, Seattle (Staple & Fancy, Tavolàta, Anchovies & Olives, and others)

Outstanding Wine Program

A restaurant in operation five or more years that serves as a standard bearer for excellence in wine service through a well-presented wine list, knowledgeable staff, and efforts to educate customers about wine.

Canlis, Seattle

Wild Ginger, Seattle

Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional

A beer, wine, or spirits professional who has made a significant national impact on the restaurant industry.

Wayne Carpenter, Skagit Valley Malting, Burlington, WA

Rising Star Chef of the Year

A chef age 30 or younger who displays an impressive talent and who is likely to make a significant impact on the industry in years to come.

Jay Blackinton, Hogstone’s Wood Oven, Orcas Island

Maximillian Petty, Eden Hill, Seattle

Brady Williams, Canlis, Seattle


Best Chef: Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY)

Eric Donnelly, RockCreek, Seattle

Mike Easton, Il Corvo, Seattle

Edouardo Jordan, Salare, Seattle

Kotaro Kumita, Wataru, Seattle

Nathan Lockwood, Altura, Seattle

Shaun McCrain, Copine, Seattle

Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule, Seattle