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Monday, June 9, 2008

Re: Cafe Juanita and Maneki Win James Beard Awards

posted by on June 9 at 14:46 PM

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).

RSS icon Comments


This will offend purists, but do you know who I think is the best James Beard?

Daniel Craig.

Posted by elenchos | June 9, 2008 2:49 PM

What the hell is a James Beard Award? I hear them talk about it on Top Chef all the time?

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | June 9, 2008 2:49 PM

@2 -- -- it's a new site, and takes some getting used to, but check it out.

OMG -- Lillet blanc sorbet? I'm touching myself right now, in a place I don't want to really talk about.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | June 9, 2008 2:52 PM

@3: Redmond?

Posted by Ziggity | June 9, 2008 3:04 PM

Also, I'd usually not engage in the "check out Google" snarkings of @3, but seriously, @2 - the link is in the fucking post.

Posted by Ziggity | June 9, 2008 3:06 PM

Am I the only one that thinks Cafe Juanita puts too much salt on their food?

Posted by D. | June 9, 2008 3:11 PM

Isn't the shaved head & goatee on a white guy kinda tired?

Posted by WTF | June 9, 2008 3:15 PM

Is the insouciance and minimalism of Dick's ever going to be recognized by Mr. Beard? Yes, I know he's DYK, but nevertheless.

Posted by RHETT ORACLE | June 9, 2008 3:31 PM

Bill Bavasi is sous chef at Cafe Juanita? No wonder the M's suck, he's too busy to run the team.

Posted by Fnarf | June 9, 2008 3:31 PM

Shaved head + goatee = prison pussy.

Posted by Har | June 9, 2008 3:33 PM

Hope nobody had the Roma tomatoes today ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 9, 2008 3:38 PM

@11 Well according to the list, as long as they were from Washington or Canada we're OK.

Posted by PopTart | June 9, 2008 4:05 PM

So, so long as we bought local we're ok?


Posted by Will in Seattle | June 9, 2008 4:24 PM

@13, Well I may be wrong about Washington because it isn't on the FDA's official list, but I was sure I read that somewhere. Here's the FDA link:

Posted by PopTart | June 9, 2008 4:59 PM

Cafe Juanita has been around since way before 2000.

Posted by Norskymom | June 10, 2008 9:32 AM

+1! I love Cafe Juanita. It is about time Holly Smith wins the JBA.

Posted by tacosaladday | June 10, 2008 9:53 AM

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