After announcing the semifinalists in January, the finalists for the 2023 James Beard Foundation awards just dropped.
Known as the “Oscars” of the food world, restaurant and chef awards are given out annually in categories like best chef southeast, outstanding restaurant, best new restaurant, and emerging chef. Out of the eight 2023 semifinalist chefs and restaurants for Atlanta, only one chef will represent the city and its sprawling metropolitan area (the eighth largest metropolitan area in the United States, by the way) at the awards ceremony in Chicago. No restaurants from Atlanta or Georgia were named finalists.
This year’s Atlanta semifinalists included Ticonderoga Club for outstanding hospitality, Lyla Lila for outstanding wine program, and Buena Gente Cuban Bakery in Decatur for outstanding bakery. Clinton Gray, Derrick Moore, and Emanuel Reed of Nashville’s Slim and Husky’s Pizza Beeria were also semifinalists for outstanding restaurateur. The trio opened two Atlanta locations of the restaurant on Howell Mill Road and Metropolitan Parkway.
Ronald Hsu and Aaron Phillips of Lazy Betty, Terry Koval of The Deer and the Dove, Jiyeon Lee and Cody Taylor of Heirloom Market BBQ, Sahar Siddiqi of Chai Pani in Decatur, and Deborah VanTrece of Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours were semifinalists for best chef southeast.
Below is the full list of the 2023 Atlanta and Alabama nominees. Award winners are announced during a ceremony taking place Monday, June 5, at Lyric Opera in Chicago.
Best Chef: Southeast
- Terry Koval, The Deer and the Dove, Decatur
- Bottega in Birmingham, Alabama
Best Chef: South
- Timothy Hontzas, Johnny’s Restaurant in Homewood, Alabama
The Grey in Savannah, backed by two-time James Beard award-winning chef Mashama Bailey, was a semifinalist for outstanding restaurant. Unforgettable Bakery and Cafe in Savannah was also among this year’s semifinalists for outstanding bakery.
Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Awards. Eater is partnering with the James Beard Foundation to livestream the awards in 2023.