Axios Charlotte Thought Bubble

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Hello, Wednesday afternoon. It's Emma here with some breaking news for all the Charlotte foodies out there: two local chefs and a bar were named to James Beard's semifinalist list today.

  • We just couldn't wait until tomorrow to share, so we're hitting you with an Axios Charlotte Thought Bubble, our snap-analysis dispatch to break down events that shape our city as they happen.

This Thought Bubble is 234 words.

1 big thing: Charlotte receives three James Beard nods

outside of salud

Salud’s colorful exterior is a landmark in NoDa. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Charlotte's bound to have another big year at the James Beard Awards this June, following chef Greg Collier‘s historic run last year.

Why it matters: Our city’s food and beverage scene has stayed under the national radar for years. But this year the city received more nods than it has since 2009, cementing Charlotte's status as a dining destination.

What's happening: Charlotte is named three times on this year's semifinalist list of the best chefs, restaurants and bars in the U.S., the James Beard Foundation announced this morning.

  • Collier is a semifinalist for outstanding chef, the most prestigious category for chefs across the country and his fourth consecutive nomination.
  • NoDa favorite Salud Cerveceria is named to the outstanding bar list, a stunning first for the neighborhood spot.
  • Counter- chef Sam Hart also made the list of best chefs in the Southeast. His popular Wesley Heights tasting menu restaurant moved to a new location last year and expanded with Biblio.

What they're saying: Salud's Jason Glunt, who owns the NoDa bar and restaurant with his wife, Dairelyn, didn’t know about the nomination until we called him today.

  • "Holy sh*t," he told Michael.

We gave him a few minutes and called back. Glunt was still in shock. He says they didn’t apply for it or hire a public relations firm, so he’s not sure how they got nominated.

  • "I don’t even know how this works," he said. "We had no clue, man."

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Thanks for reading! We'll be back with a regularly scheduled edition of Axios Charlotte tomorrow morning.