Portland boasts three finalists for the vaunted James Beard awards this year, a haul befitting the birthplace of the contest's namesake. Naomi Pomeroy (Beast), Chris Israel (Gruner), and Cathy Whims (Nostrana) have placed in the Best Chef: Northwest category; fifty-two contenders overall fill ten categories. Last year's Northwest winner was Andy Ricker, of Pok Pok.

The winners will be announced by Alton Brown on May 7, two days after what would have been Beard's 109th birthday, in a speech which will no doubt involve laughably inexpensive props that are meant to represent denatured proteins and lecithin.