The 2014 James Beard Foundation Award semifinalists
were announced yesterday, and Chef Richard Langston of Boise’s Cafe Vicino
is the sole representative from Idaho.
“I was blown away; I don’t think I’ve still processed it completely,” said Langston, who serves seasonal Italian fare at his intimate North End restaurant. “It’s just such a huge honor.”
Langston joins 19 other chefs in the Best Chef: Northwest category, including: Chris Ainsworth from Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen in Walla Walla, Wash; Naomi Pomeroy of Beast in Portland, Ore.; Ethan Stowell of Staple & Fancy in Seattle, Wash.; and Cathy Whims or Nostrana in Portland, Ore. The awards, widely considered the most prestigious culinary honor in the United States, have been given since 1990.
“It’s pretty rarefied air if you look at some of those other chefs from the Northwest that are on there and the restaurants they work in,” said Langston.
Last year, Gabriel Rucker of Portland, Ore.’s Le Pigeon took home the Best Chef: Northwest crown. Chef Gary Kucy at Rupert’s in Hotel McCall and Taite Pearson at Della Mano in Ketchum were Idaho’s nominees
The 2014 James Beard Awards will be held in New York City Friday, May 2 and Monday, May 5. But Langston says the nomination is already bringing in business.
“We already had some people come in the restaurant just last night that had already heard,” said Langston. “They we’re like, ‘We figure we’d better come down here before you get so busy we can’t get in.’”