A few years back, that great Clermont Lounge goer and Fat Matt’s Rib Shack fan Anthony Bourdain called the James Beard Awards a “self congratulatory goat rodeo/awards ceremony/chef shakedown.”
Whatever your opinion of the “Oscars of Food” you must admire the PR prowess of the Foundation in creating two drum roll announcements before the winners are finally, really, ultimately revealed.
In 2014, we got the semifinalists on Feb. 14. And in case you forgot by now, it was a pretty good showing of chefs, restaurants and bars from Atlanta and Athens, including:
* Anne Quatrano of Bacchanalia for Outstanding Chef.
* Bacchanalia and One Flew South for Outstanding Service.
* Billy Allin of Cakes & Ale, Todd Ginsberg of The General Muir and Steven Satterfield of Miller Union for Best Chef Southeast.
* Ford Fry of The Optimist, JCT Kitchen, No. 246, King & Duke and St. Cecilia and Mike Klank and Eddie Hernandez of Taqueria del Sol for Outstanding Restaurateur.
* Kimball House and the Porter Beer Bar for Outstanding Bar Program.
* 5&10 in Athens for Outstanding Wine Program.
Today, March 18, we got the finalists, LIVE FROM CHICAGO, and guess what, drum roll, please…
* Best Chef Southeast: Steven Satterfield of Miller Union.
* Journalism Awards: former AJC staffers Maryn McKenna and Susan Puckett, and former Creative Loafing critic Besha Rodell.
* Cookbook: “Try This At Home” by Richard Blais.
Other good neighbor finalists include Sean Brock in South Carolina for Outstanding Chef, Highlands Bar and Grill in Alabama for Outstanding Restaurant, and Blackberry Farm in Tennessee for Outstanding Wine Service….
See the full list here: complete-2014-jbf-award-nominees.
If you want a ticket to the gala JBF awards show on May 5 at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City, you’ll need to fork over $475.
— By Bob Townsend, AJC Food and More blog.