Owner: Beast in Portland, OR
Competing for: Seed Savers Exchange
Naomi Pomeroy and her sous chef Mika Paredes first welcomed customers to Beast on September 27, 2007. Since then, the restaurant has received features in Gourmet and Elle magazine. Additionally, Bon Appètit named Pomeroy as one of the top 6 of a new generation of female chefs in September 2008 and Food & Wine magazine recognized her as one of the 10 Best New Chefs in America in 2009. Locally, Pomeroy was voted Chef of the Year for 2008 by Portland Monthly. Pomeroy’s restaurant Beast was named Restaurant of the Year by the Oregonian in 2008 and chosen as Best Brunch by the Willamette Weekly. In March of 2010, Pomeroy was selected as a finalist for the prestigious James Beard Awards for Best Chef in the Pacific Northwest. Most recently, Marie Claire named Pomeroy one of the 18 most powerful women in business in October 2010. Born and raised in Corvallis, Oregon, Pomeroy spent her childhood hanging around the stove and in backyard gardens with her and with Grandmother Vivian from New Orleans. Before opening Beast, Pomeroy, and Michael Hebb started up Ripe Catering in 1999 and soon after launched an underground supper club in their northeast Portland bungalow called Family Supper. After a couple years of dodging authorities, using salvaged doors rigged as tabletops and defrosting shrimp in the bathtub, they decided to go legit. In rapid succession they opened the Gotham Coffee Shop, ClarkLewis Restaurant, and the Gotham Tavern. In the summer of 2007, after Gotham Coffee Shop and Tavern closed and ClarkLewis was sold, Pomeroy started to cook small family-style suppers again. The intimacy of these suppers is preserved at Beast, a 24-seat restaurant where people chat freely with each other at communal tables. Beast serves a six-course prix-fixed menu at two seatings 4 nights a week and a four-course brunch on Sundays.