Anna Vogel of Spokane’s Italia Trattoria is a semifinalist for a prestigious James Beard Award.
Semifinalists were announced Thursday.
Vogel is one of 20 semifinalists for best chef in the region that includes Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. She’s the only chef from the Inland Northwest to be named a semifinalist.
Most of the 2018 semifinalists come from Seattle and Portland, with six from Seattle and nine from Portland. There’s also one semifinalist each from Alaska, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.
Semifinalists for the 28th annual James Beard Foundation Awards were selected from more than 20,000 entries. Finalists will be announced March 14. Winners will be announced May 7 during the James Beard Foundation Awards Gala at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Vogel and Bethe Bowman own and operate Italia Trattoria in Spokane’s historic Browne’s Addition. Both have worked for celebrity chef Tom Douglas in Seattle.
Vogel grew up in Switzerland and worked in Sydney, New York City and Boston before becoming Douglas’ corporate chef. Bowman also worked for Douglas, then managed the front of the house at Luna before she and Vogel opened Italia in 2010.
Today, it enjoys a fiercely loyal following. Reservations are recommended for dinner.
Italia Trattoria isn’t a red-and-white- checked-tablecloth kind of place. Vogel presents upscale modern Italian fare in a casually elegant environment. Dishes - thoughtful, satisfying but not inherently heavy - are made from scratch.
Start with charred octopus with spicy tomato oil, potatoes and lemon-parsley salad before moving onto mains such as squid ink fettuccine with spicy shrimp, grilled lamb chops with crispy gnocchi, or pappardelle lamb ragu with Pecorino and fresh mint.
Consider a craft cocktail made with Italian liqueur.
Note: Italia becomes very busy for Saturday and Sunday brunch with staples such as the Caprese omelet, Italian frittata and Italian skillet pork hash.
Established in 1990, the James Beard Awards recognize culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields. For more information, visit jamesbeard.org.
Italia Trattoria is at 144 S. Cannon St. Call (509) 459-6000. On the web: italiatrattoriaspokane.com.
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