The James Beard Awards, which recognize culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields, has chosen two Atlanta chefs and one Atlanta restaurant as finalists this year. The awards, presented by the James Beard Foundation, nominated 14 Atlanta semifinalists. Here are the three that made it into the finals:
- Best New Restaurant – Staplehouse. The Old Fourth Ward restaurant grew from the charitable organization, The Giving Kitchen, which exists to help restaurant workers facing catastrophic events in their lives such as accidents or health issues. Staplehouse, a for-profit restaurant, is open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday, with brunch on Sunday. Reservations and payment are required in advance for the five-course tasting menu.
- Best Chef, Southeast – Kevin Gillespie, Gunshow. If you haven’t been to Gunshow, you’re missing out. The restaurant is a unique spin on dim sum. Behind the open kitchen, six to seven chefs prepare their offerings for the night and bring them to tables for diners to accept or reject. Kevin Gillespie is the author of two cookbooks, "Pure Pork Awesomeness: Totally Cookable Recipes from Around the World" and "Fire in My Belly: Real Cooking."
- Best Chef, Southeast – Steven Satterfield, Miller Union. Since its opening, Miller Union, on the Westside, has remained quite popular with its progressive Southern food. Satterfield is a big proponent of organics and of supporting local foods. He is the author of "Root to Leaf: A Southern Chef Cooks Through the Seasons." Satterfield, dubbed the “Vegetable Shaman” by the New York Times, guides readers on using not only what’s in season, but also on using the entire vegetable in the cooking process. The James Beard Foundation also chose Satterfield as a finalist for Best Chef, Southeast in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
For a full list of 2016 finalists, visit the James Beard Foundation website.
Malika Bowling is the author of Food Lovers' Guide to Atlanta, Food Blogging 101 and founder of Atlanta Restaurant Blog. She has been a contributing writer to USA Today and has been featured on HGTV, Huffington Post and About.com. Malika also has served as a judge at various culinary competitions and food festivals, including Taste of Atlanta. She is the president of the Association of Food Bloggers and her podcast, Just a Byte, can be downloaded from iTunes. Follow her on Twitter @MalikaBowling and Instagram.