Atlanta restaurants, chefs among James Beard Award 2017 semifinalists

The James Beard Foundation has announced its list of semifinalists for 2017 awards, and metro Atlanta restaurants and chefs fared well. Many standbys made the list, along with several first-timers.

The finalists will be announced March 15 in Los Angeles, and the winner will be announced May 1 in Chicago.

Among national awards, The Federal, which opened last year, is in the running for Best New Restaurant, and Brian So of Spring in Marietta is among those chefs under the age of 30 nominated as a Rising Star Chef. Sarah O’Brien of Little Tart was nominated again in the Outstanding Baker category.

In the Best Chef: Southeast category, Ri Liu of Masterpiece in Duluth was nominated for the first time, along with return nominees Steven Satterfield, Kevin Gillespie, Billy Allin and Ryan Smith. If Satterfield is picked as a finalist, it will be his fifth year in a row.

Ford Fry sees his name in the hat again for Outstanding Restaurateur, along with Eddie Hernandez and Mike Klank of Taqueria del Sol, while chef and restaurateur Hugh Acheson got nods for his restaurants Five & Ten and Empire State South.

A complete list of 2017 semifinalists is online at

The following are all the Georgia semifinalists for this year:

Best New Restaurant

The Federal, Atlanta -- Get a first look at The Federal here

Outstanding Baker

Sarah O’Brien, Little Tart , Atlanta

Outstanding Bar Program

Kimball House , Decatur -- Read our review of Kimball House, the restaurant's new space, Bonanza! and why their cocktail was picked as one of the best of 2016

Outstanding Restaurant

Five & Ten , Athens

Outstanding Restaurateur

Ford Fry, (The Optimist, St. Cecilia, Superica, and others), Atlanta - Read reviews of Fry restaurants St. Cecilia, Superica, Bar Margot, Marcel, BeetleCat, JCT Kitchen, King + Duke and The El Felix, and read more about Fry's expanding restaurant empire.

Eddie Hernandez and Mike Klank , Taqueria del Sol, Atlanta

Outstanding Service

Aria , Atlanta - Read our review of Aria

Outstanding Wine Program

Empire State South , Atlanta - Read more about Empire State South's beverage manager

Miller Union , Atlanta

Rising Star Chef of the Year

Brian So, Spring , Marietta - Read our review of Spring

Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)

Billy Allin, Cakes & Ale , Decatur

Kevin Gillespie, Gunshow , Atlanta

Ri Liu, Masterpiece , Duluth

Steven Satterfield, Miller Union , Atlanta

Ryan Smith, Staplehouse , Atlanta

A complete list of 2016 semifinalists is online at


Atlanta finalists come up short at 2016 James Beard gala

Atlanta writers win big at the James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast and Journalism Awards

See last year's semifinalists

More on Staplehouse and Ryan Smith:

Inside the mind of Chef Ryan Smith

Bon Appetit names Staplehouse America's Best New Restaurant

The best cocktails at Staplehouse

Review: To Staplehouse, with gratitude

How to make a delicious cocktail from Staplehouse

Staplehouse now offering brunch

More on Kevin Gillespie, Revival and Gunshow:

Where Kevin Gillespie eats in Atlanta

Kevin Gillespie’s new beer garden is a bit of Germany in Decatur

Revival excels in family-style dinner of old

Gunshow reconsidered

More on Steven Satterfield and Miller Union:

Where Steven Satterfield eats in Atlanta

Cutting through all the hype with Steven Satterfield

Salads to fall in love with at Miller Union

Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews on Twitter. Find us on Instagram @AJC.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

About the Author