Eventide’s Mike Wiley and Andrew Taylor win James Beard Award

The third time’s a charm. After being named finalists for the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Northeast three years in a row, Mike Wiley and Andrew Taylor have brought home the prize. The two are chefs and co-owners of three Portland restaurants, Eventide Oyster Co., the Honey Paw, and Hugo’s. The third partner is general manager and co-owner Arlin Smith. Wiley and Taylor accepted the award Monday night at the James Beard Awards Gala in Chicago. “Thank you to our amazing crew back in Portland, Maine. This belongs to you,” said Wiley. Taylor also thanked Smith, saying a third of the award was his. The prize is considered to be the highest honor in the American restaurant and culinary community. Nominees for the Best Chef Award must have worked for at least five years as chefs and “have set new or consistent standards of excellence in their respective regions,” according to the foundation. Wiley and Taylor were up against tough competition from the region, including chefs from Myers and Chang in Boston, Birch in Providence, and Shepard in Cambridge. The duo joins the small but stellar ranks of Maine chefs who have earned a James Beard Award, including Sam Hayward of Fore Street, Melissa Kelly of Primo, Rob Evans of Duckfat (formerly of Hugo’s), and Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier of M.C. Perkins Cove (formerly of Arrows Restaurant).