Chow Re: Cafe Juanita and Maneki Win James Beard Awards
posted by June 9 at 14:46 PMon
Cafe Juanita’s Holly Smith might seem like a dark horse among the other, more-fashionable-of-late regional James Beard Award nominees—Maria Hines of Tilth, Ethan Stowell of the Union/Tavolata/How to Cook a Wolf trifecta, Jason Wilson of Crush, and Scott Dolich of Portland’s Park Kitchen—but she’s been nominated the last four years in a row and fully deserves it. Cafe Juanita’s a gem; open since 2000, it’s in a mid-century house in the woods on the Eastside, with a menu emphasizing Northern Italian cuisine (and, of course, organics/localness/sustaina-et-cetera).
Holly Smith and sous chef Earl Hook in 2003.
Smith also just started a gelato operation—the excitement!—which will be at the Fremont farmers market starting this Sunday with flavors like burnt sugar, pine nut brittle with marsala currents, and Lillet Blanc sorbet (hel-LO!).
Tom Douglas correctly predicted last week that he didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the Outstanding Restaurateur award: Mario Batali and business partner Joe Bastianich got it. Canlis lost in the Outstanding Service arena to Napa’s Terra.
Something you might not know about Maneki (an America’s Classics Award-winner): “it has been around through both world wars, Japanese internment, and has even seen one of its former dishwashers become the Prime Minister of Japan” (so sayeth the James Beard people).