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Orcas Island man is finalist for best chef in PNW in the James Beard Foundation competition

The San Juan Islands continue its legacy of harboring exceptionally talented islanders. Avery Adams, an Orcas Island chef and a Friday Harbor High School graduate, is a finalist for Best Chef in the Northwest and Pacific in the prestigious James Beard Foundation 2024 Restaurant and Chef Awards. Adams and Drew Downing founded Matia in 2016 and have persevered through an abrupt closure in January. 

According to its website: "After weathering an abrupt closure in January, MATIA Kitchen Re-opens at the hallowed Old Firehall - former home of Eastsound institutions Roses Cafe and MONTi (382 Prune Alley). Under the same leadership team of its founders, MATIA returns with the same nationally recognized seasonal farm to table dining experience, chef’s counter tasting menus, unique and rarified libations, and lively, rambunctious bistro fare. 

“Our hope is to continue the work we’ve done the last two years,” says Chef Avery Adams. “This restaurant has always been a love letter to the San Juan Islands and my time growing up in the area and will continue to feature and celebrate hyper seasonal products from our dear friends and supporters.” Look forward to a shifting menu at Matia that reflects the changes in the season throughout the year, recalling old crowd favorites and new exciting dishes allowed by the new space and newly enlivened creative energy. 

“It’s a true honor to be here.  We could not be more excited for the joy and reverence of this space, and to continue the rich history of this restaurant with our MATIA spirit” general manager, Downing,  adds.  “Having the opportunity to both secure a permanent home for MATIA, as well as continue the growth of MONTi, is like a dream come true.  I can’t wait to see these concepts sing in symbiosis with one another” 

The list of finalists in Adam's category are: 

Best Chef: Northwest & Pacific

  • Avery Adams, Matia Kitchen, Orcas Island, WA
  • Kristi Brown, Communion, Seattle, WA
  • Josh Dorcak, MÄS, Ashland, OR
  • Gregory Gourdet, Kann, Portland, OR
  • Melissa Miranda, Musang, Seattle, WA


The awardees will be announced in June, 2024.

For reservations: CLICK HERE

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