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Seattle’s 10 James Beard Award semifinalists for 2024

The semifinalists for the 2024 James Beard Awards were announced on Jan. 24.

Halved oysters and a few lemon wedges sit on a bed of crushed ice next to some steamed clams that are on a separate dish.

Walrus and the Carpenter, while delicious always, is also a great place to bring visitors who want a taste of some solid PNW oysters.

Photo by Eric Tra

Roll out the red carpet, food lovers (and watch the crumbs). On Jan. 24, the semifinalists were announced for the 2024 James Beard Awards — one of the culinary world’s most prestigious prizes — and Seattle stars are shining bright.

You’ll find 10 local chefs and restaurateurs up for an award based on excellence and other factors like commitment to the community. But it’s an honor just to be nominated — getting on the James Beard radar is a game changer for any chef or restaurant, no matter how long they’ve been around.

Mark your calendars for April 3, when the finalists will be announced. A June 10 ceremony in Chicago will reveal the winners. Here’s the local flavor.

🏆 2024 semifinalists

Quynh-Vy and Yenvy Pham, Pho Bac | Nominated for: National Outstanding Restaurateur | 2024 is the second year in a row these two have been nominated in this major category — and with good reason, too. The Pho Bac family of restaurants are still a standard bearer.

Aaron Verzosa, Archipelago | Nominated for: National Outstanding Chef | This chef is also no stranger to the James Beard Awards. Verzosa was nominated for the regional version of this category in 2023 and 2022.

The Walrus and the Carpenter | Nominated for: National Outstanding Restaurant | As a consistently delicious seafood staple in the city, it’s no wonder this is the third time this restaurant’s name has made the list of nominations.

Janet Becerra, Pancita | Nominated for: National Emerging Chef | Becerra recently expanded her Mexican food pop-up into a full-fledged restaurant with tempting dishes like scallop aguachile and brisket tacos.

Seven loaves of golden brown bread sit aesthetically stacked above a shelf of wines.

Sometimes we like to judge food by whether or not it would be nice to take a nap on or in. These loaves from Ben’s Bread looks like they’d make a really cozy sleeping bag.

Ben Campbell, Ben’s Breads | Nominated for: National Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker | Campbell’s loaves are chewy, golden brown, naturally leavened, and made from local grains.

Eight Row | Nominated for: National Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program | Like its menu inspired by the orchards of Central Washington, you’ll find several labels from wineries in Walla Walla. Its creative cocktails are stellar, too.

Kirsti Brown, Communion | Nominated for: Regional Best Chef | Known for a seamless blend of Southern-inspired flavors with some Asian-influenced dish types — this restaurant’s innovative approach to comfort food is always exciting.

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The attention to detail in MariPili Tapas Bar trickles all the way down to the furniture and decorations — much of which was hand selected in Spain.

Grayson Corrales, MariPili Tapas Bar | Nominated for: Regional Best Chef | The patatas bravas certainly speak for themselves, but we’d recommend trying as many plates as possible for sharing.

Evan Leichtling, Off Alley | Nominated for: Regional Best Chef | This tiny Columbia City restaurant has gotten other acclaim of late — from the New York Times’ ”25 Best Restaurants in Seattle” to Conde Nast Traveler.

Melissa Miranda, Musang | Nominated for: Regional Best Chef | This Filipino restaurant is commonly listed as a favorite among Seattleites when asked about “must-visit restaurants.” It was also on Conde Nast Traveler’s “20 Best Restaurants in Seattle” list.

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