WA Restaurants, the chefs are the semifinalists of James Byrd


Sixteen restaurants and chefs from Seattle, Spokane and Lopez Island are semi-finalists for the 2022 James Byrd Prize.


The film industry has an Oscar. There are Amy Awards for Television and a Grammy for Music.

The culinary industry has the James Byrd Awards.

Sixteen restaurants and chefs in Washington make it to the semifinals Prestigious awards of 2022. Many of the nominees are in Seattle, but the list includes chef Spokane and a chef from Lopez Island.

  • Great restaurant: The Walrus and the Carpenter, Seattle
  • Great Chef: Rachel Young and Safe Church, Joule, Seattle
  • New Chef: Christy Brown, Communion, Seattle
  • Excellent baker: Pamela Vuong, The Flour Box, Seattle
  • Excellent hospitality: Bar del Corso, Seattle
  • Excellent wine program: Tom, Seattle

The best chef of the Northwest and Pacific regions:

  • Nick Coffey, Little Bear, Lopez Island
  • Erast Jackson, Lil Red’s Takeout and Catering, Seattle
  • Liz Kenyon, Rupee Bar, Seattle
  • Melissa Miranda, Musang, Seattle
  • David Nichols, Eight Row, Seattle
  • Brandon Petit, Delancy, Seattle
  • Mutsuko Soma, Kamanega, Seattle
  • Aaron Versoza, Archipelago, Seattle
  • Chad White, Blanc Zone, Spokane, Washington

The honoring of the finalists will take place on June 13 at the Chicago Lyric Opera.

The James Byrd Foundation stopped the ceremonies of 2020 and 2021 due to the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the restaurant and hospitality industry.

But the pandemic was not the only factor.

The final results of 2020 are not included one black chef in 23 categories, according to The New York Times. And some chefs withdrew their names to make a point, Eater reported.

Therefore, the culinary organization decided to cooperate with the Social Justice Agency to “remove any systemic bias, increase the diversity of candidates, maintain relevance.”

The aim was to reward nominees who meet the values ​​of the Foundation’s Fairness, Equality, Sustainability and Excellence for the Restaurant Industry.

Helena Wegner is a McClatchy National Real-Time Reporter who covers Washington State and the Western Region. She graduated in journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Arizona. She is in Phoenix.

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