Someday, another Atlanta chef or restaurant will win a James Beard Foundation Award. But 2016 isn't this city's year, as Kevin Gillespie, Steven Satterfield, and Staplehouse all came up short at the foundation's awards gala Monday night in Chicago.
Gillespie, who was in the running for his work at Gunshow, and Satterfield, who helms the kitchen at Miller Union, were nominated for Best Chef: Southeast. Tandy Wilson of Nashville's City House took home the Beard, besting the Atlanta duo along with Edward Lee (610 Magnolia, Louisville) and Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman, (Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Memphis).
Satterfield, Eater's endorsee for the award, has been nominated for Best Chef: Southeast every year since 2013, but he's still waiting on his first medal. Last year, he lost to Jason Stanhope of Fig in Charleston. This was Gillespie's first nomination for the award.
Staplehouse, which earned Eater's endorsement, fell to New Orleans' Shaya. Death & Taxes (Raleigh, N.C.), Launderette (Austin), Liholiho Yacht Club (San Francisco), and Wildair (New York City) also were nominated. Despite the Beard snub, the restaurant has quickly established itself as one of Atlanta's essential dining destinations since opening in September.
The 2016 field of nominees was narrowed from a long list of semifinalists, which included 14 representatives from Atlanta and another from Athens. The last time an Atlanta chef or restaurant won a Beard was in 2012, when Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene and Hugh Acheson of Five & Ten in Athens split Best Chef: Southeast.