Andy Ricker, owner of Ping, Pok Pok, Pok Pok Noi, won Best Chef NW tonight in the 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards. In his acceptance speech which could be watched live on the web, Andy remarked that the James Beard Foundation had “indirectly given the award to the chefs of Northern Thailand”, following with “the city of Portland has allowed us to do what we do, and I don’t think Pok Pok could have happened anywhere else.”
Other chefs also nominated for the award were:
- Matthew Bennett, Sybaris, Albany, OR
- John Gorham, Toro Bravo, Portland, OR
- Christopher Israel, Grüner, Portland, OR
- Jenn Louis, Lincoln, Portland, OR
- Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon, Portland, OR
- Cathy Whims, Nostrana
- Seif Chirchi and Rachel Yang, Joule, Seattle
- Matt Dillon, Sitka & Spruce, Seattle
- Chris Ainsworth, Safron Mediterranean Kitchen, Walla Walla, WA
- Mark Fuller, Spring Hill, Seattle
- Ethan Stowell, Staple & Fancy Mercantile, Seattle
- Jason Stratton, Spinasse, Seattle
To place at the top of this group of chefs is pretty impressive.
Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon and Little Bird won the Rising Star Chef award. Gabriel is the first Oregon chef to win the award. Only one other Oregon chef, Matt Lightner of Castagna, was nominated in this category.
These awards are on the heels of awards earned by Kim Boyce and Mark Bitterman.
Congratulations to the winners!