Atlanta chef Terry Koval wins 2023 James Beard Award

Credit: Angela Hansberger

Credit: Angela Hansberger

Atlanta chef Terry Koval of Decatur restaurants the Deer and the Dove and B-Side came home a winner at this year’s James Beard Awards.

Koval won in the Best Chef: Southeast category, beating out Sam Fore of Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites in Lexington, Kentucky; Josh Habiger of Bastion in Nashville, Tennessee; Sam Hart of Counter in Charlotte, North Carolina; and Paul Smith of 1010 Bridge in Charleston, West Virginia.

The awards were announced June 5 in Chicago.

The sole 2023 Beard Award finalist from metro Atlanta, Koval opened his adjoining eateries in 2019 in the former Cakes & Ale space on the Decatur Square. He previously served as executive chef at Wrecking Bar Brewpub and also worked at Canoe in his early career.

In his acceptance speech, he thanked, among others, his wife, Jenn Koval, and Deer and the Dove patrons.

Many local chefs and restaurants were recognized when James Beard Award semifinalists were announced in January.

Ron Hsu and Aaron Phillips of Lazy Betty in Candler Park, Jiyeon Lee and Cody Taylor of Heirloom Market BBQ in northwest Atlanta, Sahar Siddiqi of Chai Pani in Decatur and Deborah VanTrece of Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours were all semifinalists for Best Chef: Southeast.

For the second year in a row, Ticonderoga Club was recognized as a semifinalist in the Outstanding Hospitality category. The restaurant was a finalist in the category in 2022 and was also a finalist in 2019 in the Outstanding Bar Program category. Ticonderoga Club recently reopened after being closed for several months due to a burst pipe.



Also a repeat semifinalist was Midtown restaurant Lyla Lila in the Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program category.

In the Outstanding Bakery category, Buena Gente Cuban Bakery in Decatur and Unforgettable Bakery & Cafe in Savannah were both named semifinalists for the first time.

Among national awards, The Grey in Savannah was up for the Outstanding Restaurant honor. Chef Mashama Bailey, who co-owns the restaurant with John Morisano, won the award for Outstanding Chef in 2022 and Best Chef: Southeast in 2019.

In addition, Clinton Gray, Derrick Moore, and Emanuel Reed, who own Nashville-based Slim & Husky’s Pizza Beeria, were named in the Outstanding Restaurateur category. There are two Slim & Husky’s locations in Atlanta.

Established in 1990, the James Beard Awards are among the nation’s most prestigious honors recognizing leaders in the culinary and food media industries.

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