Jan 26, 2023 - Business

Nashville restaurants get love from James Beard Foundation

Illustration of a first place ribbon with a gold plate at the center.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Nashville's food scene is well represented on the list of semifinalists for James Beard Foundation awards this year.

Driving the news: Bastion's Josh Habiger and Locust's Trevor Moran are semifinalists for best chef in the southeast.

Meanwhile: Clinton Gray, Derrick Moore and Emanuel Reed, the ownership team behind the growing pizza chain Slim & Husky's Pizza Beeria, are semifinalists for outstanding restaurateur.

  • Slim & Husky's started with a single shop on Buchanan Street north of downtown and has grown to eight locations in Tennessee, two in Georgia and one in California.

Julio Hernandez from the taco truck and tortilla shop Maiz de la Vida is a semifinalist for the James Beard's prestigious emerging chef award. Yolan's Noelle Marchetti is also a semifinalist for best pastry chef.

What he's saying: "Holy sht! We have been too busy making tortillas we had no clue this was even a possibility!" Hernandez wrote on the Maiz de la Vida Instagram page. "Not sure what's next, but one thing is for sure. I'm going to make more tortillas & we got to get that Brick & Mortar open!"

State of play: The James Beard Foundation has prioritized celebrating restaurants and chefs beyond ultra-luxe fine dining.

  • Last year's top restaurant was Chai Pani, an Indian street food concept in Asheville, while barbecue shops and pitmasters have also earned honors.

What's next: Finalists will be announced on March 29 — right here in Nashville. The winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony in Chicago on June 5.

Click here for the full list of semifinalists


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