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James Beard Award Semifinalists Announced

james_beardThe James Beard Foundation has released its list of semifinalists for its restaurant and chef awards.

Nominated to the list of 20 chefs vying for best in the Southeast are perennial recent candidates Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene and Hugh Acheson of Five and Ten in Athens. Joining them for the first time is Billy Allin of Cakes & Ale in Decatur.

Kevin Gillespie of Woodfire Grill got a nod as “rising star” chef, Miller Union likewise for best new restaurant, and Pano Karatassos, owner of the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, for best restaurateur. Scott Peacock of Watershed was nominated for best chef, nationally.

Judges will vote and narrow the list down to five in each category; the finalists will be announced March 22.

The full list of regional semifinalists is below. The full list is here.


  • Hugh Acheson, Five and Ten, Athens, GA
  • Billy Allin, Cakes & Ale, Decatur, GA
  • Sean Brock, McCrady’s, Charleston, SC
  • Tyler Brown, The Capitol Grille at the Hermitage Hotel, Nashville
  • Ashley Christensen, Poole’s, Raleigh, NC
  • Craig Deihl, Cypress, Charleston, SC
  • Kelly English, Restaurant Iris, Memphis, TN
  • Linton Hopkins, Restaurant Eugene, Atlanta
  • Damian Heath, Lot 12 Public House, Berkeley Springs, WV
  • Scott Howell, Nana’s, Durham, NC
  • Anthony Lamas, Seviche, Louisville, KY
  • Edward Lee, 610 Magnolia, Louisville, KY
  • Daniel Lindley, St. John’s Restaurant, Chattanooga, TN
  • Jonathan Lundy, Jonathan at Gratz Park, Lexington, KY
  • Ouita Michel, Holly Hill Inn, Midway, KY
  • Andrea Reusing, Lantern, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Bill Smith, Crook’s Corner, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Jacob Sessoms, Table, Asheville, NC
  • Ken Vedrinski, Sienna, Daniel Island, SC
  • Tandy Wilson, City House, Nashville

9 comments Add your comment

uberVU - social comments

February 18th, 2010
11:36 am

Social comments and analytics for this post…

This post was mentioned on Twitter by jdkess: Beard Semifinalists: Linton Hopkins, Billy Allin, Hugh Acheson, Miller Union, Pano Karatassos. Congrats!…


February 18th, 2010
11:51 am

I’m particularly proud to see Scott Peacock nominated for Outstanding Chef!

John Kessler

February 18th, 2010
2:05 pm

Thanks, Wilton, for bringing that to my attention. It’s in the post now.


February 18th, 2010
2:34 pm

We all know Scott Peacock is already the best !

Cindy Drinkwater

February 18th, 2010
2:41 pm

My son, Jonathan Lundy, is the best chef on the James Beard Foundation Southeast list.


February 18th, 2010
4:37 pm

my cousin made the southeast list. super proud of him. if you’re ever in nashville don’t miss the cityhouse.

simple foodist

February 19th, 2010
1:48 am

so cool that Miller Union is nominated for “Best New Reaturant” 2010. It’s such an amazing space, and the food is sublime and very well curated.


February 19th, 2010
12:15 pm

Hilarious — Outstanding Pastry Chef, Deanie Fox at Ubuntu It would help if she, or anyone else, still worked there.


February 23rd, 2010
5:19 pm

Cibo Mato in Chicago is best new restaurant list. Developed/Managed by the Atlanta based Concentrics group!