It is an honor all chefs aspire to achieve: the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award. Semifinalists were announced today for the 2012 awards, which includes a major nod for the second consecutive year to Kirkland’s Holly Smith, chef/owner of the much-lauded Cafe Juanita, in the category of “Outstanding Chef,” a nomination which includes chefs from all over the nation, notably David Chang (Momofuku, Ssam Bar), Suzanne
Holly’s Northern Italian inspired cooking at Cafe Juanita and Poco Carretto Gelato has received both local and national acclaim. Holly is the 2008 James Beard Foundation winner for “Best Chef Northwest” and Cafe Juanita has been recognized by Gourmet Magazine (“Top 50 Restaurants”); Robb Report (“Top 57 Fine Dining”); “Best Italian Restaurants” from Wine Spectator; received 4 stars from the Seattle Post Intelligencer; as well as a multiple year nominations from the James Beard Foundation for “Best Restaurant Service,” “Outstanding Chef” and “Outstanding Restaurant (U.S.).” In 2009, Holly competed on the Food Network’s “Next Iron Chef” and in 2010, Holly challenged and beat Iron Chef Cat Cora on “Iron Chef America.”
We look forward to bringing you more about Holly, her talented kitchen staff, and other great local venues in the Seattle area and surrounding Northwest region.