City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

The 2012 James Beard Foundation semifinalists announced

james_beardThe James Beard Foundation has announced the 2012 Restaurant and Chef semifinalists.

Selected from 57,000 online entries, the group of semifinalists has been placed in 20 Restaurant and Chef categories representing 10 different regions across the U.S.

Additionally for this year, the Foundation has added “Outstanding Bar Program” as a new award category for a restaurant or bar that has demonstrated excellence in its beverage program.

In mid-March, each award category will be narrowed down to five finalists, and then winners will be anounced at the James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception on Monday, May 7, at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York City.

Representing metro Atlanta:

Outstanding Bar Program

Holeman and Finch Public House

The Porter Beer Bar

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Aaron Russell, Restaurant Eugene

Cynthia Wong, Empire State South

Outstanding Restaurateur

Mike Klank and Eddie Hernandez, Taqueria Del Sol

Outstanding Wine Program

Five and Ten, Athens, GA

Rising Star Chef of the Year

Kevin Gillespie, Woodfire Grill

Best Chef: Southeast

Hugh Acheson, Five and Ten

Billy Allin, Cakes & Ale

Linton Hopkins, Restaurant Eugene

Congratulations to all of our local semifinalists who made this list! To take a peek at the full list of semifinalists, click here.

by Gene Lee, Food and More blog

12 comments Add your comment


February 22nd, 2012
7:11 am

Shout out to Billy Allin of Cakes and Ale who also made the list for best chef southeast. Great guy and a great chef.


February 22nd, 2012
8:22 am

Gillespie as rising star? Doesnt being on a reality cooking show 2 years ago count as rising, risen, rised?

(excuse the poor verbage – but you get the point right?)

Gene Lee

February 22nd, 2012
8:49 am

@Ted – Indeed. I missed his name initially, but now I have added it!


February 22nd, 2012
10:03 am

Congratulations and Good Luck to all the Atlanta Chefs and restaurants – yes, even you, Hugh!


February 22nd, 2012
10:37 am

Congratulations to the nominated. Where are some new faces on the great Atlanta Chefs list for the James Beard Awards?


February 22nd, 2012
11:22 am

Excellent choices! Only wish there were more representing Atlanta…so many amazing chefs and restaurants here! Congrats to all!


February 22nd, 2012
11:28 am

Amazing that Taqueria del Sol was nominated for anything, considering how unbelievably rude their staff is.


February 22nd, 2012
2:14 pm

Everyone on this list is well deserving of the award for which they’re nominated.


February 22nd, 2012
4:03 pm

I’m with Decaturite. TdS has the worst staff ever. Plus, their fish tacos are the worst in the Metro. Even Captain Ds are better! I keep giving them second chances, but they fail over and over. Too expensive, rude, uncomfortable, chintzy on the portions. I can’t see the draw. And their tacos are not that inventive.

Karen and Vicki

February 22nd, 2012
8:41 pm

Billy is most deserving!


February 23rd, 2012
12:02 am

I could not disagree more with the comments on Taq de Sol. Is this limited to Decatur. The Howell Mill has always been great as is the service at Cheshire Bridge. Servers have been great, food excellent.