The James Beard Award finalists were announced today in New Orleans, and it should surprise no one in the city that Portland is ruling the Northwest. And when I say ruling the Northwest, I mean that three out of five of the Best Chef Northwest (which includes six states) nominees are from Portland: Naomi Pomeroy of Beast, Andy Ricker of Pok Pok, and Cathy Whims of Nostrana.

Whims was a finalist for the same award last year, and one can only hope that things work out better the second time around. But there’s another Portland finalist who may also be experiencing a bit of déjà vu: Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon, is in the running (once again) for Rising Star Chef of the Year.

To all the nominees, we’re rooting for you! And we promise, if (when) you win, we’ll try to remain patient as we wait for a table.