Staplehouse executive chef Ryan Smith is a 2019 James Beard nominee for Best Chef Southeast.
Photo: Chris Hunt
Photo: Chris Hunt

Multiple Atlanta chefs, restaurants named 2019 James Beard award finalists

The James Beard Foundation announced today the finalists for its 2019 restaurant and chef awards as well as its media awards. Several names from metro Atlanta are in the running for these culinary honors, known as the Oscars of the food industry. 

Ryan Smith of Staplehouse in Atlanta as well as Mashama Bailey of The Grey in Savannah are among five nominees in the Best Chef Southeast category. 

<<See the 2019 James Beard Award semifinalists

Mashama Bailey / Photo by Cedric Smith
Photo: Yvonne Zusel/Atlanta Restaurant Scene

Kimball House and Ticonderoga Club are both in the running for the Outstanding Bar Program, while Miller Union is among five restaurants nominated for Outstanding Wine Program. 

Hugh Acheson / Photo credit: Andrew Thomas Lee

Hugh Acheson, whose restaurants include Empire State South, Five & Ten, The National and others in Atlanta and Athens, is nominated in the Outstanding Restaurateur category. 

Restaurant and chef awards recognize members of the American food, beverage, and hospitality industries who demonstrate excellence in their respective fields. The Foundation also recognizes food media. Among Beard finalists for 2019 media awards, former Atlanta-based food writer and now dining critic for the Los Angeles Times Bill Addison was nominated for the Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review award. 

Among book awards, East Cobb native Justin Nystrom was nominated in the Reference, History, and Scholarship category for his “Creole Italian: Sicilian Immigrants and the Shaping of New Orleans Food Culture,” published last year by University of Georgia Press.

Also, Marietta resident Alton Brown’s “Good Eats: Reloaded – Steak Your Claim” is among broadcast media award nominees in the Television Program, in Studio or Fix Location category.

Media Awards will be announced April 26 in New York. 

Chef and restaurant award winners will be announced May 6 at an awards ceremony in Chicago. 

Atlanta-based nonprofit Giving Kitchen will also be honored at the May gala. The organization was recently named recipient of the James Beard Foundation 2019 Humanitarian of the Year award. The award is bestowed on an individual or organization whose work in the realm of food has improved the lives of others and benefited society at large. Giving Kitchen provides emergency relief services to commercial food service workers. Since its inception in 2013, it has assisted more than 2,500 food service employees in Georgia, including providing more than $2.5 million in financial support through its Crisis Grants program and more than 1,000 referrals to community resources through its Stability Network program. 

A complete list of 2019 award nominees is available on the James Beard Foundation website jamesbeard.org.

RELATED:

Multiple Atlantans named 2019 James Beard Award semifinalists

Giving Kitchen to receive James Beard Foundation 2019 Humanitarian of the Year Award

Hugh Acheson’s career through the years

Chef Ryan Smith: Magic of Staplehouse is in the pantry

Mashama Bailey: Georgia chef fosters legacy of Southern food dame Edna Lewis

Read the 2018 AJC Fall Dining Guide: Dining on Buford Highway 

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About the Author

Ligaya Figueras
Ligaya Figueras
Ligaya Figueras joined the AJC as its food and dining editor in 2015.
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