A restaurant on Orcas Island and a chef on Lopez Island have caught the attention of the New York based James Beard Foundation. The Matia Kitchen & Bar on Orcas Island has been nominated for a James Beard Awards® for best new restaurant. Nick Coffey, chef at Ursa Minor on Lopez Island, is nominated for best chef in the Northwest and Pacific.
Ursa Minor is located at 210 Lopez Road on Lopez Island. On its Facebook page, Nick and Nova, write: Ursa Minor is a 45-seat restaurant located in the heart of Lopez Island, Washington, featuring a creative agrarian northwest cuisine in a casual atmosphere. We aim to serve as a destination that is uniquely Lopez, where one can come to have an experience that reflects the idyllic island setting. Chef Nick Coffey works closely with local farmers, fishermen and foragers to offer a cuisine that defines this unique landscape. While we enjoy the diversity that our climate affords, this choice limits our palate of ingredients. It forces us to think creatively, to explore new flavors and better understand the ingredients of our region. Outside the kitchen we pick wild edibles, forage mushrooms, and tend gardens to preserve and ferment the best of each season. We distill all this into a simple menu of small plates meant to be shared.
Matia Kitchen & Bar is a full service cocktail bar and restaurant on North Beach Road in Eastsound on Orcas Island. It is described on its Facebook page: Matia Kitchen & Bar serves up joyful meal experiences while showcasing island food culture and building community prosperity through local focused dining service. The team includes Avery Adams - Chef/Partner, Drew Downing - General Manager/Partner, Cedar Roberts - Sous Chef, Spencer Verkuilen - Beverage Director, Tim Cofey - Dining Room Manager, Tara Anderson - CFO/Partner, Michael Cleveland - Facilities Director/Partner.
The semi-finalists were announced last week by The James Beard Foundation. The short list of nominees on March 16, 2022. Winners will be celebrated at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony on Monday, June 13, 2022, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
The James Beard Foundation’s Restaurant and Chef Awards were established in 1991 and is one of five separate recognition programs of the Awards.
The James Beard Foundation is a nonprofit organization with a mission to celebrate, support, and elevate the people behind America’s food culture and champion a standard of good food anchored in talent, equity, and sustainability.