It was the second nomination for both Ticonderoga Club and Martinez. Ticonderoga Club was a finalist in 2019 in the Outstanding Bar Program, while Martinez received her first Beard nomination while working for Tiny Lou’s.
Gillespie has been a finalist or semifinalist eight times in the Best Chef: Southeast, Rising Star Chef of the Year and American Cooking Cookbook categories.
Several chefs and restaurants with metro Atlanta ties had been named Beard Award semifinalists last month.
In addition to Gillespie, Todd Richards and Josh Lee were in contention for the Best Restaurateur honor. Richards and Lee are the names behind barbecue concept Lake & Oak.
Mia Orino and Carlo Gan, who operate Filipino pop-up and catering business Kamayan ATL, were in the running for the Emerging Chef title.
In addition to Martinez, Jen Yee, the executive pastry chef for Linton Hopkins’ restaurant group Hopkins and Co. was a semifinalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef, her fourth Beard nomination and the second for Martinez.
Lyla Lila was in the running for its wine program.
Atlanta was shut out in the Best Chef: Southeast category. This year’s list of 20 semifinalists in the category included Jason Liang of Brush Sushi Izakaya, Craig Richards of Lyla Lila and Joey Ward of Southern Belle and Georgia Boy.
The finalists announcement comes after the organization’s announcement of its 2022 America’s Classics Award winners, which include iconic Atlanta restaurant Busy Bee Cafe. The honor is given to locally-owned restaurants “that have timeless appeal and are beloved regionally for quality food that reflects the character of its community,” according to the James Beard Foundation. To be eligible, establishments must have been in existence for at least 10 years.
Restaurant and Chef Awards winners will be announced at an awards ceremony June 13 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The 2022 James Beard Awards are the first in two years, after a hiatus due to the coronavirus and an audit of the awards’ policies and procedures.
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